Beijing reopens its borders in full Covid and the Chinese meditate on “escape” after the restrictions: USA, Canada and even Africa the most sought after destinations – Il Fatto Quotidiano

Tana free everyone. fromJanuary 8th there China will remove most of the restrictions on international travelboth inbound and outbound. The new measures – which among other things suspend the obligation of hotel quarantine for foreigners – do not amount to an immediate and complete opening up of the country. And there are still many gray areas. As points out the New York Timesauthorities have not clarified when they will resume releasing i tourist visas, suspended at the start of the pandemic. In the official press releases, there is simply talk of “further optimizing” the procedures for those who want to travel to China for work, study or family reunification. The release of will also be reactivated “in an orderly manner”. new passports ordinary for Chinese citizens, frozen a early 2020. However, it is not clear how many international flights will be restored: second VariFlightin November the incoming traffic was equal to 6% of 2019, while, according to Flight Master, only 617 flights international, where during the first seven days of 2020 almost had been carried out 16,000.

For Liu Siminofficial of the research institute of the China Society for Future Studiesgiven the complicated national pandemic framework, intercontinental travel will not return to pre-Covid levels until 2024. Yet vague as it is, the reopening of borders has been enough to embolden the aspiring travellers. Thanks to the approach of the Lunar New Year (January 22-February 5), one of the few Chinese holidays to allow long-distance travel. Tuesday, the day after the announcement of the new policies, on the tourist portal flight bookings from China to popular destinations, such as Singapore, Japan and South Korea, have tripled. In Europe, France ranked as the most popular destination, also thanks to the courtship of the Parisian authorities. Up Weibo the French embassy in Beijing has specified that Chinese tourists will not be subjected to quarantine. Different reception compared to that reserved by Italy with the introduction of swab in the airports.

But it’s not just leisure-seeking travelers packing their bags. The three years of Zero Covid, first, and now the new epidemic wave are pushing part of the Chinese population to leave the country. According to Financial Times, at the end of March “research on the platform WeChat Of Tencent up ‘how to move to canada’ have increased by nearly 3,000%”. It is a phenomenon known in Mandarin as runxue: literally “studying the fugue”, is the symptom of a less trust in the Party/State. After the years of double-digit economic growth, the stumbles committed by Beijing in the management of the pandemic they have further frayed the relationship between citizens and political authorities. The disillusionment is most visible among the middle class and the generations post-Tiananmen, grown up in the era of prosperity and social stability. The slowdown in GDP has something to do with it, but that’s not all.

The recent protests by “A4 sheets” demonstrate how part of the population is starting to feel needs that are no longer just “material”. Above all, the rare criticisms against the censorship and calls for free speech. In big cities that for the runxue it is a rather widespread attitude. Of course, in some cases the issue of expatriation is a pourtalker, a momentary outburst. But it is undeniable that more and more Chinese are looking “better” living conditions abroad. The quotation mark is a must because the difficulty of obtaining a visa in the era of the pandemic is prompting many to opt for unusual and not exactly easy destinations. If the Japan remains the first choice for the wealthiest, there are those who do not mind the risks to pursue theAmerican Dream.

According to the Panamanian government, in 2022 at least 1,300 Chinese they crossed the “Darién plug”, one of the most dangerous migratory routes in the world, between Colombia and Panama. Almost triple the previous decade. The hope, as for thousands of other migrants, is to reach the United States. A goal that requires a budget of $5,000-10,000 and days of walking through the jungle, between waist-deep rivers and steep slopes. According to the journalist of BBC Mengyu Dong, which told the story of some intrepid Chinese travellers, on Telegram there are special censorship-proof group chats in which those who have arrived at their destination share useful tips: where to change money, how to bypass local authority checks and do luggage suitable for the rainforest. As he explains Alexis Zhouan expert migration researcher in North America, the recent popularity of the zouxian – this is the Chinese name of the arduous journey – is the symptom of “growing despair” that tears apart those who dream of a new life away from China.

Without going into the bowels of the tropics, a similar mood can also be found among the diaspora in Africawhere the Asian giant has been investing for decades, but which has always been considered a destination B series for climate and personal safety issues. According to the portal Sixth tone, with the pandemic and the simultaneous increase in unemployment in China, there has been a drastic increase in Chinese recent graduates interested in finding a job on the continent. Even those enrolled in the best universities. In 2021, a Chinese state-owned company in Algeria has seen job applications rise by80%.

Net of the difficulties of adaptation, Africa does in fact have some advantages: high salaries, generous holidays and a less frenetic pace of work when compared to Chinese standards. Compared to the past, young people also appreciate the opportunity to see the world, develop their language skills and learn about new cultures. Covid has changed many things. In China, it has changed the priorities of Millennials. Until recently, the greatest ambition was to obtain economic stability and own apartment. Today is to improve the quality of one’s life. Even at the cost of fleeing thousands of kilometers from home.

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Beijing reopens its borders in full Covid and the Chinese meditate on “escape” after the restrictions: USA, Canada and even Africa the most sought after destinations – Il Fatto Quotidiano

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