Amid the Coronavirus spread, when countries around the world wanted a humble apology from China, which is responsible for the collapse of the Global economy and hundreds of thousands of deaths, the Chinese government resorted to Wolf Warrior diplomacy and engaged in border aggression to provoke nationalism at home and instill fear in neighboring countries.
In the last decade, especially after Xi Jinping came to power, the Chinese government has tried to stir a sentiment of nationalism among the people. The promotion of hyper-nationalism through arts, cinema, and propaganda, has many aims for the Communist party with one being to convince the country’s super-rich to not migrate out of China.
Forced to bear allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party, the rich in China, by and large, are not really patriotic. And this can be mapped from the flight of China’s millionaires and billionaires to countries like Australia, Canada, and the United States.
As per the data from Global Wealth Migration Review, China topped in the list of the number of millionaires migrating to other countries for the last two years. In 2018, for which the latest data is available, more than 15,000 Chinese millionaires migrated to other countries, with Australia being the top priority. China was followed by Russia, which witnessed the flight of 7,000 millionaires, despite having an economy 5 times smaller than China.
For many years, France used to top the list when it came to the flight of millionaires, given extremely high taxes on the rich and rising lawlessness due to loose immigration policies. But in 2018, only 3,000 French millionaires migrated out of France compared to 15,000 from China.
Ever since Xi Jinping came to power in late 2012, every year thousands of affluent Chinese people migrate to English speaking countries with better education and healthcare systems. Australia topped the list in receiving the highest inflow of ultra-high net worth individuals (HNIs), with 12,000 millionaires migrating to the country, most of whom were Chinese.
Australia is followed by the United States with an influx of 10,000 millionaires and Canada which received 4,000 HNIs. A few common factors among the top 3 countries with the highest inflow of Chinese millionaires is that they are English speaking nations with prolonged stability, social security, and democracy. This means, most of the Chinese HNIs, in practice, do not appreciate the political system back home and would stand up for democracy any given day if they had a choice.
The Chinese ultra-rich have a sense of insecurity from the totalitarian Xi Jinping government, which, since it came to power, has dealt with corruption and dissenters with an iron fist. The Chinese HNIs know that the Communist government would confiscate their property if required and they cannot express any kind of dissent against the totalitarian regime.
This is the reason behind Chinese millionaires making every effort to ensure that their children get private boarding school education in English speaking countries like Australia, Canada, which could help them attain citizenship in those countries.
In fact, in the last few years, the Chinese super-rich have been on a buying spree in developed democratic countries. Ultra-rich Chinese individuals have bought costly properties in Australia, Canada, the United States, and have even splurged in old and historical castles in the United Kingdom. A few years ago, Chinese buyers inflated the property prices in Australia so much that the Australian government had to impose measures to slow down Chinese investment in real estate, thus making it easier for local people to afford houses for themselves.
Alarmed by this outflow of wealth, the Chinese government is taking many steps to stop capital outflows and instilling patriotism in the rich and the emerging entrepreneurs is one of them.
To instill patriotism in entrepreneurial young people, the Chinese Communist government released guidelines to define “the core meaning of Chinese entrepreneurship under the new era” with patriotism and professionalism being a core component.
“Key elements of the document relate to the phenomenon of Chinese firms going on massive overseas shopping sprees,” said Han Meng, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Economics in Beijing. “If not reined in, this could hurt China’s economic base. Patriotic entrepreneurs are those who can do more to benefit the domestic economy and society.”
The Chinese government has put several restrictions on the amount of money a Chinese can spend overseas to stop capital flight. The Communist government fears that if the richest and entrepreneurial people migrate out of the country, China would suffer from a brain drain as well as a capital drain in the coming years.
Instilling patriotism among young people is the best bet of the Chinese government to stop financial and human capital flight and it needs the least investment. This is the reason that the Chinese government is endorsing movies like Wolf Warrior, which projects China as a global superpower. In the last few years, Xi Jinping’s agenda has been focused on hyper-nationalism. The Chinese government picked border disputes with neighbouring countries, even countries like the Philippines, which tried to befriend the Communist regime were not spared. The Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent backlash against China are being used by the CCP to convince the domestic audience that the country is surrounded by enemies and the people must be ready to make a sacrifice for the nation.