Fed-up Hong Kongers Are Moving to Taiwan In Bigger NumbersPosted: 01/20/2015 10:00 am
Data released by the Interior Ministry of Taiwan say that 4,624 Hong Kong and Macau residents received permission to stay or settle in Taiwan in 2013, up from 2,908 in 2012 and 2,995 in 2011.
A Taiwanese official with the National Immigration Agency acknowledged the trend. “We have definitely seen an increasing trend in the past few years. We had a historic high last year in the number of Hong Kongers applying for residency in Taiwan. The amount of applications for permanent residence also hit a new high last year since China took over Hong Kong [in 1997].”
Hong Kong residents have been looking to Taiwan as an ideal solution to their discontent with the local government, high real estate prices, falling wages, a deteriorating social welfare system, and increasing pollution. The trend is encapsulated by a popular Facebook campaign called “Evacuation to Taiwan” that urges Hong Kong residents to make the move. Many see it as a more affordable alternative that still retains a similar language and culture, with the island’s democracy as a main selling point.
“Taiwan is the only place where the Chinese community enjoys its own system of democracy,” said US-educated businessman Tim Wong, who moved to Taiwan in 2012. “That democracy is not dominated by any ideology. I came to Taiwan to live my life in a place of mutual benefit and mutual contribution.”
However, Hong Kong residents that have made the switch are cautioning others to carefully reconsider. Those interested in relocating to the nearby island are being told jobs are hard to find, salaries are not competitive with the former British colony, and assimilation into its society to be difficult.
Photo: EJ Insight