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China censors bad news on economy, but its citizens are fastest growing group trying southern US border crossing

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(TibetanReview.net, Feb05’24) – Chinese authorities have been scrubbing the internet of negative takes on the state of the country’s economy, including news articles from financial experts and economists, according to reports last week by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Some of the nation’s top officials were stated to have reiterated the importance of promoting the “bright prospects of China’s economy.” However, how bad the economic outlook has become is clear partly from the fact that people from China now constitute the fastest growing group trying to cross into the US through its southern border, according to the cbsnews.com Feb 4.

The cbsnews.com report said that last year, US Customs and Border Protection reported that 37,000 Chinese citizens were apprehended as they illegally crossed the border; this was 50 times more than two years earlier. Many of the migrants have said they made the journey to escape China’s increasingly repressive political climate and sluggish economy.

Many flew from China to Ecuador because it doesn’t require a visa for Chinese nationals. Then they flew to Tijuana. The migrants have said they connected with smugglers and paid $400 for the hour-long drive to the gap at the border.

The report continued that the migrants knew about the hole because of TikTok. Posts on the app were stated to feature step-by-step instructions for hiring smugglers and detailed directions to the border gap.

While there are at least 36,000 Chinese who have been ordered by US immigration courts to leave the country, China often refuses to take back citizens and the US can’t force China to accept them, the report said.

Success rate for Chinese asylum applicants is high. Last year, 55% of Chinese migrants were granted asylum compared with 14% of migrants from other countries, the report said, citing the Department of Justice.

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Meanwhile, China insists the country’s economic prospects are positive while censoring social media and news articles from financial experts and economists who share a downbeat perspective.

The New York Times has cited China’s Ministry of State Security as saying in its official WeChat account that citizens should not believe the “false narratives” about the trajectory of China, and instead should believe in President Xi Jinping’s vision.

In order to further this official false narrative, Beijing has moved to censor social media and news articles from financial experts and economists who share a downbeat perspective. The Wall Street Journal report has similarly reported that some of the nation’s top officials had reiterated the importance of promoting the “bright prospects of China’s economy.”

Officials have continued to espouse an upbeat outlook for growth this year despite the fact that the economy grapples with a cocktail of bearish headwinds including a troubled real estate sector, crashing stocks, deflation, and youth unemployment.

An article from a Beijing-based outlet that called for more direct state intervention in addressing economic challenges was stated to have been erased from the website within hours of publishing.

Likewise, a column about the tribulations of lower-income families published by economist Li Xunlei who works at state-owned Zhongtai Securities too was stated to have disappeared shortly after it was published. Those trying to access it on Li’s WeChat account are reportedly greeted with a message saying: “The content can’t be viewed due to violation of regulations.”

The New York Times said tech platform Weibo had restricted dozens of accounts from posting after they had shared bleak economic realities with other users. The platform also warned its users in November, the report said, not to be “maliciously pessimistic” about China’s economy.

However, despite China’s censorship efforts, experts have told Business Insider (businessinsider.in Feb 2) over recent weeks that the “uber-bearish” narrative on China has become entrenched, and that authorities have slim chances of engineering a rebound in the near term.

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