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Beijing as ‘developed as Western nations’

By Zhang Hui (Global Times)

13:14, November 13, 2012

Beijing is already as developed as some Western nations, according to its Human Development Index (HDI), an indicator of quality of life and wealth, a Tsinghua University professor said at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China Sunday.

Hu Angang, director of the Research Center for Contemporary China at Tsinghua University and a leading economist, said the most recent statistics show that Beijing's HDI has reached 0.834.

This level is very high, normally considered as the level for a developed nation, and is the highest among all cities in China, the Beijing Morning Post reported Monday.

But other experts on Monday said the capital, with its traffic gridlock, poor environment and also unequal educational and medical resources, still has a long way to go to reach the same level as a developed country.

The HDI indicates residents' overall life expectancy, educational attainment and income, according to the United Nation's Human Development Report.

Hu said a Beijinger's average lifespan is 80.8 years, ahead of a US citizen's average of 78.6 years. Beijingers also enjoy an average of 12 years of education, the Beijing Morning Post reported.

Other experts and residents had different opinions on the capital's high HDI index.

Tang Renwu, director of the management school at Beijing Normal University, believes there is much still to be done before the capital can rank among developed international cities.

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