In search of greener pastures? Migration discourses, drivers and dynamics in the new Hong Kong exodus
Date: 5 December 2022
Mode: Online via Zoom
Prompted by changing domestic political climate and relocation incentives offered by foreign governments, Hong Kong, while celebrating its 25th anniversary of return to mainland China, is experiencing the rapidiest human outflow in six decades. Hong Kong government data showed that 96,400 Hong Kong people left the city in the year of 2020. The UK Home Office revealed that over 113,000 Hong Kong people have been granted visas to the UK through the British Nationals (Overseas) scheme since 31 January 2021. As many as 322,000 Hong Kong people are projected to move to the UK via the special immigration pathway between 2021 and 2026.
The latest Hong Kong exodus depicts a new migration phenomenon that departs from the previous one (1980s–1990s) in various terms—political discourse, migrants’ motivations and experiences, as well as socio-economic impact on origin and destination territories. Understanding this new migration wave from combined historical, political, socio-economic, and identity perspectives will help illuminate evolving sources of coalescence and tensions, and explain sites of syneries and instabilities pertinent to this episode of human outflow. By analysing the workings of global capitalism, global flows of information and transnational networks in human and capital movements, we aim to reveal distinctive actors, patterns and processes of the present-day migration. The massive scale of the current exodus and its social and economic impacts on both origin and destination territories make Hong Kong emigration a timely issue worthy for in-depth and systematic analysis, and an important examplar for advancing theoretical understandings of Asian migration and Chinese diaspora, and for migration policy research.
This workshops aims to:
- Explore the political factors, socio-economic conditions, and various motivations driving the latest wave of post-2019 Hong Kong exodus and the major differences in migration drivers between this new wave and the pre-1997 migrations. How do evolving information technology, social media and transnational social support networks influence cross-border movements of people and shape new migration patterns?
- Explore the discourses associated with the recent migration tide. How is the exodus framed and discussed at governmental and societal levels, both in Hong Kong and abroad?
- Investigate the impact of emigration on the socio-economic landscape and the demographic structure of Hong Kong. To what extent does Hong Kong suffer from ‘brain drain’, ‘capital flight’ and split families?
- Analyse the social and economic impacts of influxes of Hong Kong people on destination countries (such as Australia, Canada and the UK) and how these Hong Kong immigrants relate to their new ‘homes’.
- Explore how Hong Kong migrants understand and develop identities in transition/migration. In what ways are they forming a new Hong Kong diaspora and a distinct group within the broader Chinese diaspora?
- Advance theoretical understanding of Asian migration and the Hong Kong Chinese diaspora.
Dr Yvette To, Department of Public and International Affairs, City University of Hong Kong
Dr Chan Yuk Wah, Department of Public and International Affairs, City University of Hong Kong
Professor Michelle Huang, Department of Geography, National Taiwan University
Dr Edmund Cheng, Department of Public and International Affairs, City University of Hong Kong
Please send your abstract (250 words) by 30 September, 2022
Announcement of acceptance of abstract: 15 October, 2022
Submission of abstract/enquiries: Yvette To (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Yvette To, City University of Hong Kong