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Hong Kong Migration Continues Amid Pandemic, Politics.



BANGKOK — Many tired residents are departing Hong Kong every day as the city battles the worst outbreak from the pandemic COVID-19.

However, an exodus from Hong Kong residents has been happening for the past few years, according to data.

Residents are leaving due to recent political tensions and continuing restrictions resulting from the pandemic.

Recent data

According to data from immigration that show over 94,000 Hong Kong residents have departed the city through Hong Kong International Airport in 2022, and 26,000 arriving. It’s not known if these departures are temporary or permanent.

Hong Kong has required lengthy restrictions for both professionals and residents who are visiting the city, making it a difficult prospect for people who live there to travel to other countries.

Vera Yuen, a business lecturer at the Hong Kong University (HKU) She said the duration of the departures will depend on two elements.

“Regarding the current wave of exodus there are two primary motives, one of which is related to the current political situation that are taking place in Hong Kong, and the second is related to the increasing restrictions on travel and social distancing rules as a result of COVID-19. This first will likely become a lasting change and the other is likely to be temporary.”

“If the restrictions on travel and quarantine restrictions continue for a long time the temporary restrictions could turn into permanently,” she said.


Hong Kong is facing its highest coronavirus infection rate to date. Due to an increase in the spread rate of transmissible Omicron variant Hong Kong has seen more instances in 2022 than the previous two years.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has ordered mandatory testing for the entire 7.4 million people living in the city in March. Rumours of lockdowns have shaken the people of Hong Kong, with residents in a frenzy to find food and other sources, leaving some of the shelves in supermarkets empty.

Julius is a former landscape director of Hong Kong, told VOA that he’s thinking of going back to Hong Kong.

“We were once home to many non-governmental organizations, civil societies or even elected district and legislative councillors to help neighborhood residents. However, since the introduction of the National Security Law, the disqualification of councillors and the dissolution social organizations, this is just one of the main reasons why Hong Kong people are now stocking up on food and other necessities.”

“It’s difficult to find job opportunities. There are no comparable positions and because of the aforementioned epidemic that’s sweeping across the globe, other industries are streamlining their workforces also,” he added.

(2/3) FILE – Residents line up to get tested for the coronavirus at a temporary testing center despite the rain in Hong Kong, Feb. 22, 2022.

In the wake of the protests against the government in the year 2019, Beijing adopted an act of national security to Hong Kong. It prohibits all acts that are classified as secession, subversion or foreign collusion as well as terror, and carries a sentence of up to a year of life imprisonment. The street protests have been stopped as civil societies or independent outlets for media have been been shut down. Around 150 dissidents have been detained as well as several democratic legislators.

The discontent of living within Hong Kong under the new conditions was evident in the Hong Kong election to the legislative council in December, with just 30.2 percent of Hong Kong’s people casting votes.

Population decline 2020

According to the data published from the Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong recorded a population decrease of 1.2 percent in 2020. This is around 89,200 people. This was in the same year that the law on security came into effect.

An Hong Kong government representative denied that the decline in population could be due to the laws.

However, Yuen stated that the recent decrease is not a surprise to the pro-democracy wing of the opposition, many of whom are currently in prison and facing charges under the security law due to their involvement in the protests that took place two and a half years ago.

“[It does not] come as a shocking for the opposition. The only surprise is that it happened in such a short time.”

Yuen declared that the current trend of people leaving Hong Kong would continue amid recent political tensions within the capital city. She was referring to the Tiananmen Square police crackdown that took place in Beijing the year 1989 in which China’s military killed unidentified numbers of protesters in large-scale demonstrations.

“Estimates suggest that, following Tiananmen approximately half a million Hong Kongers left the city over the next few years.”

(3/3) The ‘Pillar of Shame’ statue, a memorial to those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, is removed from the University of Hong Kong, Dec. 23, 2021.

“It will continue. There’s plenty to do in preparation for the to make it easier for. Early adopters cause people who have been late adopters to think about the possibility of leaving. The nature of what Hong Kong society will become and how Hong Kong’s government will rule will impact the decision-making process to either leave or remain.”

BNO, Cheng

Hong Kong was a British colony up until 1997, when the city was handed back to China.

After the enactment of the law on security in 2020 Britain gave a free lifeboat to million of Hong Kong residents.

British National Overseas (BNO) passport holders who reside in Hong Kong now can work and study in Britain for five years, and are eligible to apply for citizenship later on. A recent change by British legislators has expanded the program up to Hong Kong residents 18 to 25 years old.

According to the data provided by the British government, as of December the end of December, according to the British government’s statistics, 103,900 BNO requests had been accepted.

“The U.K. has been the top choice by Hong Kong people who plan to move out,” Joseph Cheng, an analyst in the field of politics who was previously from Hong Kong, told VOA.

“The worsening pandemic within Hong Kong has become a another factor that is causing small enterprises fail, and job losses grow.”

“Given the belief the China’s Hong Kong policy will be continued, the momentum of the exodus is likely to slow down for at most 1 or 2 years.” Cheng added.


However, Yuen believes that Hong Kong is still an attractive destination for professionals. In the year 2019 the economy of Hong Kong fell into a recession for two years before returning in the last year with 6.4 percent growth.

“If the pandemic measures is lowered and businesses are still flourishing within Hong Kong, top talents will return.”

“For the top talent from home however, the tax-free and competitive salary that is available in Hong Kong is quite attractive. If they decide to move to another country the city, they’ll likely have to make a significant financial sacrifices along with having to leave their family and friends. It’s not easy.”


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Top 10 Democratic Presidential candidates in 2024 as ranked.



The month of February was completely focused on other events around the globe — therefore, you could be forgiven for not having seen an interesting survey on U.S. politics. (We did it, writing about these issues as a profession.)

The survey, conducted by YouGov, focused on what 2024 would be like for the Democratic presidential primary. Only 21 per cent of those who favoured Democrats indicated that they would vote for Joe Biden, the current Democratic presidency, Joe Biden. Biden was just a fraction over those who stated that they didn’t know who they favoured, and vice presidents Harris and Bernie Sanders each had 14 per cent of the vote.

This isn’t normal. There’s evidence to suggest that Democrats aren’t convinced to nominate Biden for another term, such as an opinion poll from November that showed that most Democrats opposed him being a candidate again. But a majority of Republicans are the same when it comes to the possibility of a second campaign in the direction of Donald Trump in 2024 -but he’s the candidate to win when you compare Biden against potential opponents.

Democrats have to determine what they will do with this. There’s a good argument for arguing that the most effective alternative is to pick an alternative candidate. However, should you do that if Biden intends to run again, would you be willing to allow an open primary that could leave the choice in the hands of voters — and possibly tarnish incumbent presidents, like Jimmy Carter vs Ted Kennedy in 1980? Do you gently suggest to Biden that it’s better to let the torch pass and hope it succeeds? Do you wish that things improve?

These important issues are likely to be left unanswered until after Democrats look at how 2022’s elections play out. In this time, we’ve witnessed what jockeying one would expect in a scenario. Biden hasn’t been completely specific about whether he’ll be running again, which could signal a green light to those preparing for the possibility that he doesn’t.

With this all in mind, We’re changing our annual presidential rankings. In the past, we’ve removed Biden from our rankings which suggested that we’d likely have an actual primary if he didn’t contest. But it’s becoming increasingly important to think about the possibility that should he decide to run and win, he’ll have the field all to himself -and he may not end up being the best candidate in all aspects.

Here are the latest rankings.

Other notable people include Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, New Jersey Governor. Phil Murphy, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Stacey Abrams, Mitch Landrieu, Rep. Ro Khanna (Calif.)

  1. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez: The more feasible option for the 32-year old congresswoman is to wait her time until she can be a candidate for Senate. The congresswoman did not participate in the possibility of running in a primary election to run against Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in the past and would stand an opportunity to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in 2024. She may run for a more prestigious post in 2024, of which she scored 6 per cent in the YouGov survey. She’s not taking steps similar to those on this list. However, she’d already have a base as well as the progressive path would be much more accessible this time around, as Sanders has stated that he is likely to be out. (Previous ranking: 10)
  2. Gavin Newsom: Some California political observers have noticed Newsom’s presence more frequently in the recent debates on national politics. “It’s very obvious Newsom would like to be president someday,” SFGate’s Eric Ting wrote this week. The exact way that it would be handled isn’t as clear. Newsom won a major victory in a widely watched recall election last year, but how he’d sway voters from outside the Golden State is a big problem. Newsom almost oozes “West Coast liberal,” although he’s probably slightly more moderate than most people are aware of. (Previous ranking: 7)
  3. Cory Booker: The senator from New Jersey was one of the most prominent figures of the Democrat’s campaign for confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson on the Supreme Court, delivering some poignant remarks about the importance of the event. His 2020 campaign was nowhere far from achieving the potential of his first political career. However, Booker has just turned 52 and will likely perform another feat on the national scene. (Previous ranking: 6)
  4. Sherrod Brown: Perhaps the most significant surprise of the early 2020 Democratic primary could be that Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio decided not to run. This was partly because the senator decided he wasn’t interested in running as the other Democrats were. Likely, this will not change by 2024. With Sanders out, there may be more room for his popular style of politics. You can bet that many established Democrats would place Brown highly on their list of candidates. There’s a big problem: Brown is running for reelection in 2024 and could not be able to come back to running for an election in the red-hot state of Ohio. (Previous ranking: n/a)
  5. Roy Cooper: He might be the leading candidate who isn’t talked about the most. It’s partly due to him being governor and his style. If it’s a”just-win-baby” type of election and Democrats are looking for a Biden-style presidential candidate (though this isn’t Biden himself), then the North Carolinian checks many boxes. He’s also, like Brown, who has won repeatedly in an authoritarian state, one that Democrats would like to get in the spotlight. (Previous ranking: 5)
  6. Amy Klobuchar: Senator from Minnesota is likely to gain from a Biden-free contest, as do many others could benefit from a Sanders-free election. But what would the cost be? The highest point she reached at 20 per cent for the year 2020 came from New Hampshire, and she was not as successful in Iowa well before Biden kicked things into high gear. (Previous ranking: 4)
  7. Elizabeth Warren: Sanders’s camp has made suggestions that Biden is likely to be battling a progressive opponent in 2024. Who exactly would this part from the political line be putting behind? Politico has reported that the top Sanders advisers have been involved in establishing the field for 2024however, they have done so by urging Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) to run rather than by helping build Warren. Sanders and Warren have been frequent allies within the Senate; however, their 2020 presidential campaigns turned quite ugly when competing against one another. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts also is running for reelection in 2024 and has stated she will be pursuing it. (Previous ranking: 3)
  8. Kamala D. Harris: We’re moving Harris to a different position this time. Being vice president is an effective launchpad, but it’s not clear if Harris has utilized it positively. Harris’ numbers are comparable to Biden’s, and she’s not done much to change the perceptions that have harmed her campaign for 2020, particularly her capacity to convey the message. It’s also unlikely that she’d run against Biden if he runs (while others may have had a wiggle room to do this). The good news is that Biden has already committed to her as his running mate once again. (Previous ranking: 1)
  9. Pete Buttigieg, The transportation secretary, has moved ahead of Harris but without a great deal of conviction from our side. He had a strong race in 2020 — we’ll say he was close to winning the initial two contests. And he could enter 2024 with greater authority as a cabinet secretary. We’d anticipate a Biden-less race to be among the most open-ended races in recent history. If the public doesn’t want Biden or Harris, he’s the second in line because of his plausibility. (Previous ranking: 2)
  10. President Biden, after all of that, the darkest times are usually for presidents during an election year with a midterm. Also, Biden is battling an epidemic and inflation issues to deal with. If the two factors diminish in the next few months, and then after the midterms in 2022? The scenario could be dramatically different. Suppose Republicans get some control over Congress (which is highly likely). It might even aid Biden politically since Biden will have something to compete against (even in opposition to Donald Trump). However, most of us aren’t sure if we’ll see him attempt to become the first Octtogenarian candidate for president.


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