The New Year Migration in China

December 4, 2010

We visited China and traveled during one of China’s national holidays in 2008. 

My sister and her youngest daughter went with us. 

Both are evangelical Christians and mentioned they didn’t believe in China’s one-child policy. I heard this more than once but after they arrived in China and experienced that migration, both became quiet about the one-child policy.

It was so crowded at times, it was as if we were swimming through a thick sea of people.

After that, I said the next trip to China would not be during any of China’s national holidays.

In fact, to deal with this migration, says, “China has released a massive rail development program, which will expand the high-speed rail service to 42 more high-speed lines by 2012.”

This Al Jazeera report is about China’s annual New Year Migration of 2010. For readers who haven’t been to China, this may be your only chance to experience a taste of what it is like to live in a country with more than 1.3 billion people.

Tony Birtley of Al Jazeera, reports from a train heading south from Beijing to Hebei province.

Birtley says, “Welcome to the Chinese New Year and to the world’s biggest annual migration.… There’s something like 2,000 people on this train and you can hardly move.”

The rail system in China barely managed to move the average 220 million people traveling home to celebrate the Chinese New Year with family.

It is possible that a passenger will have to stand for a trip of 16 to 48 hours to reach their destination.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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