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Another Sign of China’s Looming Crisis

People who behave like this don’t think they live in a rising superpower that is going to sweep all before it:

In their quest for a U.S. education, more Chinese families are sending their children to America—and at younger ages.

The number of Chinese students at elementary schools surged from 500 in 2011 to 2,450 in 2015, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Over the same period, the number of Chinese nationals attending secondary schools in the U.S. jumped from 17,914 to 46,028. Those numbers pale compared with the tens of thousands of Chinese students enrolled at U.S. universities, but are expected to soar in the next few years.

“It’s an obvious trend,” said Emily Li, an educational consultant in Irvine, Calif. who specializes in the Chinese market. “When I came in 2004, there were mainly students like me attending graduate school. A few years later, there are college students. Then high-school students. And now there are junior high and elementary school students coming.”

These Chinese families are making huge emotional and financial sacrifices to give their kids a taste of life and education in the United States. These are also often among China’s best-connected and most successful citizens.

There are lots of signs that the “smart money” in China today is worried about its future. This is one of the most important.

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  • john carr

    Perhaps they don’t want their children breathing all that smog.

  • Dhako

    Wrong, again. These numbers are drop in the ocean in comparison to the numbers who are in China, who are even very affluent in the standard of their western’s counterparts, Hence, it’s one of those silly statistics that says little illumination. Or put it another way, it obscures more than it reveals. Hence, it’s pity to see the denizens of this parish trying to reassure themselves the fate of China, which they think will be worse off now that Trump-led US is effectively on the clear trajectory of the Roman-like proportion of strategical and economical decline.

    Which means, what they are doing is desperately reassuring themselves, that, if US is headed for lamentable hell in a handcart driven by a certain Mr Trump, then, at least, China is in purgatory already. Or notion of that kind which in turn will allow them to sleep easily at night. Hence the reason they collects all the flimsy things that could allow them to marinate that narrative of the “collapsing of China” with numbers (however small they may be).

    But, as I should of said it in here, lets wait and after 4 years of Trump at the helm in the US, we shall compare notes, as to whether it’s China or US, who is ready to be carted off to the proverbial knacker-yards, in-terms of their economy, political functionality, and strategical position. Hence, if I were you, chaps, I would rather be worried about that. Instead of cleaving to a flimsy statistics from China that tells you nothing of importance in-terms of how Chinese in their large aggregate numbers feel about their prospects and hopes for their country in this century.

    • FluffyFooFoo

      Have you ever lived in or visited China for an extended period of time?

      • Fat_Man

        Dhako has never lived anywhere. He is a PRC propaganda bot.

      • Tom

        I’d be willing to bet that he’s living there now.
        I’d also be willing to bet that he’s an apparatchik.

    • champ

      Just who is it who are sending their sons and daughters to America and Canada to live and study abroad? It is the members of the Communist Party inner circle, the ones who see the inevitable decline and fall of the Chinese nation and economy. It ain’t the sons and daughters of some peasant in the western Chinese provinces.

  • Angel Martin

    not too many sacrifices being made for this overseas chinese student

    • Andrew Allison

      It’s of a piece with the foreign company buying spree, namely get your money out of China any way you can.

  • Andrew Allison

    I suspect that “These Chinese families are making huge emotional and financial sacrifices to give their kids a taste of life and education in the United States.” are actually more interested in their kids getting residency, then citizenship, then bringing them to the US parents. Let me hasten to add that there’s nothing wrong with this — unlike the indigents from South America, they are educated and self-supporting.

    • rpabate

      I totally agree. These Chinese will add to our country’s high IQ gene pool. Chinese are hard working, smart and entrepreneurial. What’s not to like about that combination.

  • Jim__L

    Is this a bad time to start telling the story of Arminius, or “Herman the German”?

    Not that I think we’re going to be sending legions into China anytime soon, and not that Germania was a power compared to Rome, but there is something to the idea that getting an education in the halls of the existing power might not be a sign that the other powers are going to subjugate themselves to us anytime soon.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Where are my eagles?

    • rpabate

      Why would you ever think that was the reason? The reason is that China may be in serious trouble. If you think we have a demographic problem with retiring baby boomers, China has a far great problem that was partially caused by their one child policy. China must also know that if the Middle East descends into chaos, which seems likely, it’s in a whole lot of hurt. That is why Trump’s goal of creating a North American hydrocarbon energy superpower makes great geopolitical sense.

  • Proud Skeptic

    This is remarkably reminiscent of what was going on a hundred years ago. Chinese of that time favored American schools for their children. I suggest reading John Pomfret’s “The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom”. Remarkable story about the relationship between China and the US over the last 200 years.

  • lukelea

    You’re familiar with the term “naked officials” I presume? An enormous phenomenon (as are many phenomena in China):

  • Guest

    These well heeled Chinese don’t simply send their children to American schools. They also get their money out of China so it can’t be seized at the whim of the Chinese Communist Party, or taken by corrupt officials. Their money is then invested in American assets…mostly real estate at this point. This is in some ways beneficial for some Americans; however, this pattern distorts the real estate markets in places like coastal California by increasing property prices. The impact on most Americans is negative because homeownership is priced beyond their means.

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