According to the UN refugee agency‘s latest statistics, the number of people seeking refugees in the world due to war, violence, and abuse has reached almost 90 millions last year. The number marks an increase of 8% from the year prior and more than double that a decade ago.

Although China is not affected by war or violence, the most populous nation on Earth has recently witnessed an increasing trend in the number of people fleeing the country.

This number has set a record high of nearly 120,000 last year, a tenfold increase compared with 12,000 in 2012. 

In 2012, the cumulative number of people seeking political asylum in China was about 730,000, with more than 170,000 of those living outside China as refugees.

This trend has not changed even as the Chinese regime blocked or restricted travel routes into and out of the nation amid Covid 19 outbreak. 

By contrast, the government’s strict Zero-Covid policy makes this trend even stronger.

According to the Washington Post, there has been a recent trend among Chinese urban professionals called “runxue”. It is in itself a new school of thought, the study of how to “run” away from China.

According to the paper, people pursue “runxue” not only because of the “zero-Covid” policy and its harsh consequences but also because they are concerned about their own future in the long term. A China in which the politics “upholds the top leader’s policies no matter the cost” rather than the well-being of its residents. 

According to the UN report, the U.S. and Australia still top the destination list of Chinese political asylum seekers despite the plunging relationship between China and these countries. 

Safeguard Defenders reported that as this number increases, the Chinese regime would intensify its transnational persecution, including through “involuntary repatriation” programs.

The group stated that earlier this year, Beijing said it would expand the Skynet program, seeking to force fugitives to go home. 

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