Guangming Daily reprinted an article which the Economic Observer had originally published on the increase in migration due to climate change in China, a phenomenon that is expected to have a major impact on China’s future social structure. According to the Blue Book of Global Talent, co-published on January 22, 2014, by the Center for China and Globalization and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in 2013, the deteriorated environment has been the main reason driving the migration of the elite and the middle class population in China. The article attributed the major cause of the environmental issues to the extensive economic growth, massive urbanization, and the mismanagement of social issues.
The article indicated that, as millions of farmers have moved to the city to seek job opportunities, urban residents have begun to feel uneasy about air pollution, crowded traffic, an increase in living costs, and other living pressure. In the past two years, weather was the most popular topic among the Chinese people. In 2013 large scale grey smog caused frequent red alerts to be issued in regions such as the Yangtze River delta, northeastern China, Beijing, Tianjin and the Shandong region. The first climate change migration started in large size cities two years ago. Migration routes were divided into two areas: to overseas countries for “clean air” or to regions in China that are still less polluted. The article said that the newly migrated population will drive the local economic development in the new regions but it will also cause conflicts with the local residents in the areas of transportation, education, commodity prices, and real estate markets. It may even cause conflicts in culture and social habits. The article pointed out that, “Many local governments are not prepared to face the large inflows of these immigrants.” “They don’t know how to deal with the delicate relationships, which could be a hidden cause for future conflicts.”
Source: Guangming Daily, February 9, 2014