fredag 30. august 2019

Economic discontent a primary force behind Hong Kong unrest, researchers in Singapore say

Hong Kong’s increasingly violent anti-government protests have been primarily fuelled by economic discontent, despite assertions by demonstrators that they are pushing back against encroaching influence by Beijing, an academic forum in
Singapore heard on Thursday.

The major concerns among young people, who have been driving the protests, are bread-and-butter issues such as worsening inequality, the rising cost of living and competition for jobs with mainland Chinese migrants – all of which have dampened hopes for a better future, according to three researchers from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy’s Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI). Hong Kong’s Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality, shot up from 0.451 in 1981 to 0.539 by 2016. Property prices have continued to rise while the cost of living for ordinary residents – in 2011 only 63rd among 105 cities worldwide – had risen to 51st, according to ACI research.