Canada announced Wednesday the cancellation of the Immigrant Investor Program popular among wealthy Chinese. The Canadian government said the immigration scheme "significantly undervalued Canadian permanent residency" and they will replace it with a new Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Fund, which conveys an articulate message that whoever plans to dwell in Canada must make larger investment.
Chinese account for more than half of the immigrants who'll face mounting immigration difficulties with Ottawa shuttering the wealth-based visa scheme. At this sensitive moment, it is hard for potential immigrants to lodge protests against the Canadian government, so they may vent their disappointment and indignation back on China: What has driven rich Chinese and the middle-class to migrate to the West? Does a lack of freedom and democracy in China's society make them feel insecure both physically and financially?
Immigration to the Western world is a realistic choice for wealthy Chinese and some remark that China is now experiencing an "immigration wave." It is inappropriate to conclude that China, with no rigorous tax imposition policy for the wealthy and a much lower income tax rate, is "pushing" rich people to emigrate.
China is implementing increasingly stringent measures to protect private property and it is unimaginable to infringe on the possessions of the rich. Chinese public opinion is relatively tolerant toward the wealthy class because scorching cynical sentiments against officials have diluted such hostility toward the wealthy class.
Private business owners live in a legally improved environment amid a stable social atmosphere. Hence they have never encountered any special "calamities" in the reform era.
There is no denying that multiple layers of social knots exist in present-day China, like vehement competition for education opportunities, questionable food safety and severe air pollution, all of which have exhibited a sharp contrast to Western society. Improving their offspring's life through immigration has long been attractive to a certain number of Chinese, including the burgeoning middle class.
Most of the wealthy class has contributed to China's reform and opening-up and also obtained reward, so they should shelve the idea that the State still owes them.
China's reform is aimed at building an equal and fair society with rule of law, an explicit and realistic objective signifying that the legitimate rights and interests of the wealthy will be better protected but they are expected to assume more legal liabilities and moral obligations.
Immigration is a rather prevalent phenomenon in developing nations. What is important is that we need to draw high-caliber overseas Chinese and capable foreign investors to return to China.
In final analysis, maintaining the prosperity and stability of China conforms with the interests of the wealthy.