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China’s best still go to the West

world Updated: Nov 01, 2012 23:43 IST

At 30, Chen Kuo had a well-paying job at an MNC. But in mid-October, Chen boarded a midnight flight for Australia to begin a new life with no sure prospects.

Like hundreds of thousands of Chinese who leave each year, she was driven by a sense that she could do better outside China. Despite China’s economic successes, she was lured by Australia’s healthier environment, robust social services and the freedom to start a family in a country that guarantees religious freedoms.

China is losing skilled professionals in record numbers. In 2010, 508,000 Chinese left for 34 developed countries. That is a 45% increase over 2000.

In 2011, the US received 87,000 residents from China, up from 70,000 the year before. nyt, beijing