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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