Facing future under CCP, more Hong Kongers head to safe shores of Taiwan

Real estate inquires spike over past 3 weeks, 2019 immigration from HK to TW to break previous records

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(AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As a result of the troubling social instability in Hong Kong, more and more residents of the city are looking at Taiwan as a potential new home, with a huge spike in Hong Kongers eyeing property in Taiwan over the past few weeks.

According to a report from Mirror Media, the number of inquiries by Hong Kong residents interested in purchasing property in Taiwan has skyrocketed by 13 times the average since July 9. That was the date that Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam temporarily shelved the controversial China extradition bill, following more than a week of mass protest in the island.

According to the report, a recent survey by Hong Kong University estimates that 34 percent of Hong Kong’s population has a desire to leave the city. Taiwan is reportedly the top location for potential resettlement.

There are three places in Taiwan that are especially attractive to Hong Kongers interested in making the move. The top areas are Tamsui (淡水) and Linkou (林口) in Northern Taiwan, and Taichung in Central Taiwan.

The historical high for emigration from Hong Kong to Taiwan occurred in 2014. In the year of the Umbrella Movement, the number of new residents coming to Taiwan from Hong Kong and Macau exceeded 8,200 people.

From January to May of 2019, a total of 1,950 migrants from the area resettled in Taiwan. Given the mass protests and violence in June and July of this year, along with the spike in consultations on real estate in the past two weeks, the number of Hong Kongers resettling to Taiwan in 2019 is likely to break the 2014 record.

The increasing influence from Beijing, accompanied by a rapid influx of new residents from China, with roughly 150 "new Chinese residents arriving per day according to Mirror Media, are worrying trends for many long-time residents of Hong Kong. With the added threat of violence evidenced in recent days, the city has become unlivable, and many are considering starting a new life elsewhere.

Other places that are drawing interest for potential resettlement are Singapore, New York, and London.