China / Hot Issues

You kidding? Chinese ridicule Beijing's nomination as most livable city

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-08-20 16:27

BEIJING - Chinese citizens are shaming the Economist Intelligence Unit's list of the world's most livable cities after Beijing was listed as the top city in the Chinese mainland - prompting most to ask "are you kidding me?"

According to the think tank's "livability index", Melbourne in Australia tops the chart based on 30 factors such as safety, healthcare, educational resources, infrastructure and environment.

The other ten most comfortable places include the three Australian cities Adelaide, Sydney and Perth; three Canadian cities Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary, as well as Vienna, Helsinki and Auckland.

If you are not surprised, well, many web users in China are. Particularly at its ranking for Chinese cities. Beijing was ranked as the best city to live in China's mainland, followed by Tianjin, Suzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Dalian, Guangzhou and Qingdao.

The list has attracted wide discussion on microblog Sina Weibo, leaving more than 150,000 comments on a post by the People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China.

"Isn't it ironic?" one user wrote, "Perhaps the news should be published on April 1."

"Beijing the most livable city? It's the funniest joke this year!"web user "huoshanjiao"joked."Do foreigners only know about these Chinese cities?"joked another post.

"Is it the ranking of the most polluted cities?" web user "biguilideyu"said.

Indeed, air pollution has been a chronicle issue hovering the capital and its neighboring cities, a topic also picked up by The Economist in a previous report that once quoted Berkeley Earth's scientific director, Richard Muller, as saying that breathing Beijing's air is the equivalent of smoking almost 40 cigarettes a day and calculates that air pollution causes 1.6 million deaths a year in China, or 17 percent of the total.

Some of the EIU rankings may be more surprising. For example, Tianjin beats Suzhou to become the second livable city in China's mainland. The ranking stirs up controversy following the warehouse explosion that killed more than 110 people in the northern Chinese port city.

However, others favoring the EIU ranking said that if Beijing is not the most livable city, then why do tens of thousands of people swarm into the metropolis each year?

Another post by web user "sunnyyangguangqing" said: "You can't deny Tianjin just because of the blasts. The blasts do not necessarily means the city is not safe."

The EIU's liveability index was in contrast to a similar standing compiled by China Institute of City Competitiveness based on seven major indexes including environmental health, urban safety, economy strength, civilization and reputation.

The Chinese institute's list of "best livable cities in China 2015" showed Shenzhen ranks the No. 1 urban area in which to settle down, followed by the city of Zhuhai. Both the cities are located in southern China's Guangdong Province.

A report of air quality in Chinese cities also added to the controversy of the EIU ranking. Beijing was one of the ten Chinese cities with worst air quality in July, according to a ranking released by the Ministry of Environment Protection.

Hot Topics