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Wealthy Chinese leaving their country in record numbers

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Americans have long complained about the U.S. debt largely to China. But in a dramatic turnaround to that situation, Wealthy Chinese are sending hundreds of billions of dollars to overseas destinations.

Not just their money but themselves too.

The estimated offshore assets are now about $658 billion, according to WealthInsight. Chinese worth more than $16 million have substantial overseas investments. In the year that ended in March, 2013, wealthy Chinese had bought up more than $8 billion in residential real estate in the U.S. alone.

The Bank of China and Hurun conducted a study that showed of China’s wealthy, more than half are making steps to leave the country or already have.

Why is this happening?

As CNBC reported, "Many experts say the wealthy are moving to protect their wealth, their health, and their families. With China increasingly cracking down on ill-gotten gains and corruption, many of the politically connected wealthy are looking for safer havens abroad. They are also looking for better environments for their children, with better schools and cleaner air."

And the rich keep getting richer in China.

As of last November, China had 157 billionaires, with an average age of 53, nine years below the global average. Of those wealthy Chinese, many are “anxious,” according to NPR, “because income inequality is staggering, corruption systemic, and public protests a daily occurrence."

Another reason to flee?

In one study conducted, 17 percent of the billionaires on the Hurun Rich List, China's version of the Forbes list, ended up in protracted court situations or actual prison.

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