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雾霾成为中国富豪移民重要原因

2014-03-28    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Now China’s super rich are fleeing to avoid smog

中国富豪正移民海外,主要是为了避免空气污染造成的危害。过去几年,诱发癌症和呼吸系统疾病的污染物含量屡创新高。

The country's wealthiest residents are emigrating to other countries, in large part to avoid awful air pollution. The past few years have seen record-high levels of dangerous pollutants that have been linked to cancers and respiratory problems.

By the 1970s, Central Park was in a state of decay. Bridges were crumbling. Meadows had dried up. Graffiti and vandalism blighted playgrounds and benches. There was an overwhelming feeling that its best days had passed. “Positive use had increasingly been displaced by illicit and illegal activity,” is how the Central Park Conservancy describes it today.

Then George Soros stepped in. Frustrated by what he and others saw as New York City’s inept management of the 160-year-old institution, Soros and another financier commissioned a study on potential fixes. Its chief recommendation was creating a private citizen-based board to oversee an individual running the park’s operations — in effect, allowing private citizens to control the park.
Soon the not-for-profit Central Park Conservancy was created, and the area returned to its former glory. Thirty years later the conservancy provides 75% of a nearly $60 million annual park budget and is a New York institution unto itself. The board of trustees includes former J.P. Morgan Chairman and CEO William Harrison, KKR’s Henry Kravis, and the hedge fund manager John Paulson, who two years ago announced he would give $100 million to the conservancy, the largest park donation ever.

The growing wealth gap around the world is raising concerns about economic fairness and class divisions. But Central Park’s revival illustrates the importance of the very wealthy in civic society. Their private dollars fund projects that governments won’t, and they have an especially key role in urban centers. All this explains why reports of China’s air pollution driving out wealthy residents are so troubling. Is China losing its most important residents to smog?

The air in northern Chinese cities has been poor for a while. But after the past few years of “air apocalypses” and record-high levels of PM 2.5, the dangerously small pollutants under 2.5 micrometers in size (1/30 the width of a human hair) that find their way into the bloodstream and have been linked to cancers and respiratory problems, citizens have increased complaints and growing numbers of rich have started making plans to move away.

A recent survey provides the strongest evidence yet that China’s polluted cities risk driving away the rich. Released in January by the Hurun Research Institute, the survey shows 64% of China’s rich (those with wealth above $1.6 million) were either immigrating to another country or planning to, a rise from 60% in the last poll two years ago. That came as a surprise to Rupert Hoogewerf, founder of the Hurun Report, an annual China rich list. He wasn’t expecting the already high figure to grow. He says pollution and food safety was the second-biggest reason for emigrating, after the general desire for security and financial well-being. Although the numbers of those emigrating haven’t yet reached a critical mass, Hoogewerf says “a lot of families are finding a lot of other rich families are going overseas,” providing examples to follow.

What’s happening is that those who can avoid the smog, especially families with children, are escaping what a recent Chinese study reportedly called “unlivable” cities like Beijing. They’re seeking permanent residency in America and Canada, and European countries Cyprus, Portugal, and the U.K.
Earlier this winter I spoke with half a dozen wealthy mothers in Beijing who explained to me how pollution had some of them considering moving away. It was enlightening to hear because what the survey doesn’t tell you is that the rich don’t take moving to another country lightly. The women explained what a hard decision it was to make. China’s culture and language had them wanting to stay. But many of them were afraid for their children’s health, leading them to plans to go abroad.

I met the mothers at a Starbucks. They swapped stories about smog like others might politics or sports in the café that opened to a luxury mall with Gucci, Prada, and Tom Ford boutiques.

Feng Fairbanks has two daughters, who are 10 years old and 8 years old. The local PTA raised 200,000 RMB ($33,000 USD) to buy air purifiers so that her children can at least enjoy clean air inside the school where recess is often cancelled because of smog. She wanted her daughters to attend school longer in Beijing, but she’s returning to the U.K. with them in July. The air pollution was becoming too serious to plan on staying in Beijing for the long term. Her British husband, who runs a business consultancy in Beijing, is staying in China.


Coco Xiao told me she avoids playing with her two daughters outside. Last summer the family toured the U.S. — visiting Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, then San Francisco — and was “amazed by the air.” Her husband is setting up a consulting business in San Francisco in part to give the family an option to escape the pollution. She says the “government cannot afford to wait” to fix the air, but she’s staying in Beijing for now.

The other mothers were more hesitant. As they sipped teas and lattes, they explained how the pollution was devastating but bearable — for the time being. May Guo, dressed fashionably in black leather boots, has a 9-year-old daughter with asthma. She pulled out a 3M mask — “the best,” she tells me — then explained that air pollution is one of many factors to consider before leaving China. There’s family, jobs, culture. She’s waiting to make a decision on leaving.

Of course, many rich will stay in smoggy Beijing and China’s other polluted cities. Opportunities in the world’s fastest-growing major economy are hard to turn down. And surveys show the Chinese remain loyal about investing at home. But the air pollution problem isn’t getting better anytime soon, and neither will the flight of China’s wealthiest residents.(ChinaDaily)

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上世纪70年代,纽约中央公园一片衰败之气。桥梁倒塌,草地枯萎,涂鸦和肆意破坏让运动场和公园长椅一片狼藉。人们都认为最好的光景已经过去。中央公园保护组织称“人们不再合理利用园内设施,相反,非法活动日益猖獗”。

乔治·索罗斯站了出来,他对纽约市对这座160年之久的公共机构的糟糕管理感到失望,于是索罗斯和另一位金融家委托一家公司对未来的修缮进行研究。研究最重要的建议是成立由市民组成的私人委员会来监督公园的独立运营,实际上是允许市民参与公园管理。非营利的中央公园保护组织不久便成立了,使这个地方重现昔日的辉煌。30年后的今天,公园保护组织每年近6000万预算的预算中,有75%都由这个保护协会提供。委员会的理事包括摩根大通集团主席兼首席执行官威廉·哈里森、科尔伯格克拉维斯的亨利·克拉维斯以及对冲基金经理约翰·保尔森,后者是公园有史以来最大的捐助者,两年前宣布他将向中央公园保护组织捐赠1亿美元。

世界日益拉大的贫富差距引发人们对经济的公平性和阶级分化的担忧。然而中央公园的复兴证明了一个城市中富有阶层的重要性。他们用个人资金投资各种项目,而政府不会这样做,同时,他们对市中心的发展也至关重要。这就是为什么人们对中国雾霾迫使富豪移民的现象感到不安。中国是否因为雾霾而正在失去这些举足轻重的大人物。

中国北方城市的空气问题已持续若干年。但是最近几年“空气末日”和屡创新高的PM2.5,人们的抱怨声此起彼伏,越来越多的富豪开始计划移居海外。PM2.5是指直径小于2.5微米(人类头发直径的30分之一)的微型污染物,能够进入血管并且可能引发癌症和呼吸系统疾病。

最近一项调查提供了最为有力的证据,表明受污染的中国城市很可能会赶跑富人们。胡润研究机构1月份的调查表明,有64%的中国富豪(身价超过160万美元)已经移民或者正在计划移民,而两年前的结果为60%。调查结果连中国年度富豪榜胡润百富的创始人胡润自己都吃了一惊。他没想到数字在如此高的情况下还在增长。他说污染和食品安全是移民的第二大原因,而排在首位的是对安全和财富保障的渴望。尽管移民数字尚未达到临界点,但是胡润表示“很多家庭看到其他富裕家庭正在移居海外”,这成为他们效仿的对象。

那些有能力远离雾霾的人,尤其是有孩子的家庭,正在逃离诸如北京这样的城市,中国最近一项研究称这样的城市“不宜居住”。他们在美国、加拿大以及一些欧洲国家,如塞浦路斯、葡萄牙和英国,正在寻求永久居住权。

去年初冬,我曾在北京与六位有钱的母亲交流,其中一些人告诉我污染已经让她们考虑离开这里。让我惊讶的是,她们做出移民决定并非草率之举,而调查中并没有提到这一点。她们告诉我这是一个非常艰难的决定,因为她们舍不得中国的语言和文化。但是出于孩子健康方面的考虑,还是决定移民。

我和几位母亲在一家豪华购物中心的星巴克见了面,那里还云集了古驰、普拉达和汤姆福特等服装店。当其他人在咖啡馆讨论政治或体育的时候,她们却在交流着雾霾的信息。

费尔班克斯·冯有两个女儿,大女儿10岁,小女儿8岁。当地的家长教师联谊会募集了20万元(3.3万美元)购买空气净化器,这样尽管由于雾霾孩子不能出去活动,她们至少还能在室内呼吸到清洁的空气。她希望她们能够多在北京的学校学习一段时间,但是她不得不在7月带着她们回到英国。空气污染太严重,她不能让孩子们长期生活在北京。而她的英国丈夫在北京开了一家咨询公司,因此仍会留在中国。

可可·肖告诉我她尽量不和两个女儿到户外玩耍。去年夏天她们一家到美国的亚特兰大、拉斯维加斯、洛杉矶和旧金山旅游,“那里的空气出奇的好”。他的丈夫在旧金山正在建立商业咨询公司,一部分原因就是可以使她们远离空气污染。她说“政府不能坐在那里等着”空气自己好转,但是她现在仍然会留在北京。

其他一些母亲则更加犹豫不定。她们一边喝着茶和拿铁,一边解释说,尽管现在的污染很严重,但目前还是可以忍受的。打扮时尚的郭梅(音)穿着一副黑皮靴,有一个患有哮喘的女儿。她拿出一个3M的口罩,告诉我说“最好戴这个”。然后解释说空气污染是她离开中国之前考虑的诸多因素之一。此外还有家庭、工作、文化因素。对于是否移民,她还没有做最后的决定。

当然很多富人还是会选择留在雾霾笼罩的北京或中国其他受污染的城市。人们很难放弃在中国的发展机会。而且调查显示中国人还是愿意在国内投资。但是空气污染问题短期内不会好转,同样,富人移居海外的趋势短期内也不会扭转。


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