BloombergBusiness quotes IEMS’ David Zweig on reasoning behind calls for greater redistribution in Hong Kong by the city’s richest man, Li Ka-shing

Published on: 2014-06-30

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BloombergBusiness reports that Li Ka-shing, the richest man in Hong Kong as well as the whole of Asia, is extremely concerned with what he sees as an untenable disparity of wealth in the city.

IEMS’ David Zweig was contacted to provide some context for Li Ka-shing’s worries for Hong Kong’s economic, social, and political future:

“The chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. [Li Ka-shing] called on the government to introduce fresh impetus to enable dynamic and flexible redistribution policies, in his address to students at China’s Shantou University, according to a speech posted on the website of the Li Ka Shing Foundation on June 27. The growing scarcity of resources is also keeping him awake, he said.

Li’s comments come as the debate over how to elect Hong Kong’s next leader in 2017 divides the city, with more than 787,000 people voting in an unofficial referendum against demands by China to control a leadership election. Popular discontent has risen with a record wealth gap and a doubling in housing prices since 2009, spurring calls for more government action.

“Part of the reason for the activism in the city is the sense that many of the young people feel that the system is unfair, that it is skewed to helping the rich,” said David Zweig, professor of political science at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. Li “is recognizing that part of the problem in Hong Kong is an economic problem,” he said.”

Read the full article here: Li Ka-shing Kept Awake at Night by Wealth Gap, Waning Trust

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