Hong Kong expats now heading home in a hurry after travel warnings

Published:  16 Aug at 6 PM
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As the protests continue and the risk of Chinese military action increases, expats in Hong Kong are looking for an exit strategy.

Political turmoil resulting in safety concerns is spurring expatriate professionals to consider finding safer havens for their talent. Earlier this week the Canadian government issued a travel warning for those thinking about visiting the beleaguered city, with Canadian nationals already living and working on its main island seriously considering moving on before the seemingly-inevitable arrival of the Chinese military.

Uncertainty is the major problem, with the Hong Kong government keeping up an annoying silence about its plans for the immediate future of one of the world’s largest financial hubs. Over the past week, the protests have grown more violent and the occupation of Hong Kong’s international airport caused chaos for travellers as well as financial losses for its management and the airlines themselves.

Hong Kong’s huge expat community as well as its citizens are unsure whether they should trust its police force to determine between expatriates going to and from work and protestors setting up for yet another day of making their legitimate fears known. Expats are already leaving, with one Canadian telling local media in the home country he’d taken part in earlier semi-approved marches, adding the present situation is far more dangerous as police seem to be deliberately hurting Hong Kong residents.

He said many of his friends are busy arranging to leave the city as soon as is possible. According to another Canadian expat, the city is split between the older generation who believe young demonstrators should simply accept the status quo and the young people themselves who are desperate to retain their comparative freedom, or even break free from China altogether.
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