Hong Kong rates high on civic services, not so good on happiness

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The Independent Travel

Efficiency? Check. Credibility? Check. Happiness? Well, that's another matter entirely.

Hong Kong woke this week to the news that the city's leaders have been voted tops in all China in terms of both efficiency and credibility - but doubts remain about just how happy its citizens actually are.

A survey released by the China Institute of City Competitiveness claims Hong Kong is unmatched when it comes to governing, in terms of standards, credibility, efficiency, the quality of its civil service and - most surprising of all - public appraisal.

That last factor is raising eyebrows as the city has in recent years witnessed a seemingly endless stream of anti-government protests, the most recent of which was held on July 1 when an estimated 200,000 people took to the streets to air their grievances with those who govern.

A spokesman for CICC told the China Daily newspaper that the main difference found between Hong Kong and other cities in China was its "law and order."

Rounding out the top five in China in terms of efficiency were Taipei, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Beijing; while in terms of government accountability, behind Hong Kong came Macau, Taipei, Weihai and Zhengzhou.

The study took in 295 Chinese cities and cast its eye over the "Greater China" region which includes the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau as well as the island state of Taiwan.

When it comes to competitiveness in all provinces and regions, however, Hong Kong sat in second place behind Taiwan, with the top five being filled out by the Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shandong.

When it comes to happiness, though, it appears as though Hongkongers still have their worries. The survey claims the city ranked ninth overall - the most cheerful cities in China apparently being Hangzhou and Chengdu.

CICC is a non-profit thinktank which was formed in Hong Kong in 1998.