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Thursday, August 18, 2016, 23:57

HK can be even more livable

By Staff writer

The Economist magazine has just released the latest livability rankings for major cities around the world, with Hong Kong sitting in 43rd place. This ranking is significantly behind Tokyo, which leads Asian cities at 13th in the world, but much higher than other Chinese cities. While local residents may feel very differently about their hometown when it comes to livability, it is safe to say most Hong Kong people agree there is room for improvement.

Hong Kong used to rank much higher on the same annually updated livability chart but suffered the steepest drop ever last year. The Economist points out the illegal “Occupy Central” protest was to blame for the fall. There are many livability charts compiled by different institutions and/or media outlets around the world and Hong Kong usually ranks quite high on them. That is why no one will be surprised to find it placed higher than other Chinese cities and many other cities in the region.

Socio-political stability is one of the most important criteria in rankings of this nature, for obvious reasons. It tends to deteriorate when the economy is in trouble, such as during the global recession we are struggling to shake off right now. Hong Kong, as a free-market economy, has fared much better than other major markets in recent years thanks to the strong support from the mighty mainland economy, but its political situation has been a cause for growing concerns because of blatant meddling by some external forces through their manipulation of some radical groups in the city.

The upcoming Legislative Council election offers a very good opportunity for the voting public to prevent the radicals from disturbing socio-political stability. Less obstruction and opposition by the radicals will allow the SAR government to focus on economic restructuring and improving people’s well-being. That will make the city even more livable.

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