Which is a better place to stay permanently, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Singapore?
Callan Chua, lived in Singapore (1977-2012)
Answered Jan 28
Been to all 4, born in Singapore and is staying in Mainland China Guangzhou currently.
I have to clarify that these are personal views and is not an attempt to put down any place in particular.
I think Taiwan is a mess now, too much politics and power play going on that does not benefit the common people, businesses and professionals alike. Economy is rather stagnant. Reasonably friendly people, but comparatively now, standard of living is not as good as what I’m getting in Guangzhou. Unless there aresome major changes to policy, definitely not on my list.
Hongkong is a question mark to me. Economy is still reasonably strong, but I don’t see it going very far in the near future. Maybe as a professional. People are not that friendly. It might be the fact that I’m just not used to the Hong Kong social culture, but I sometimes feel that they are too rude and aloof. I also don’t see so many smiling faces around….compared to 10 years ago. Spiritually they seem lost. Standard of living is also mixed. Expensive place to be in but you don’t really get the bang for your buck. Living space tends to be small and infrasturture is aged. I’ll put it as my 3rd choice if I have to rank it..
Singapore is my hometown. I grew up there. I’m FAMILIAR with it. Familarity makes life easy. People are friendly because I’m familiar with it. But I can sense the economy going into a technical recession regardless of what the official reports are saying. People are looking for opportunities because they feel stress. Cost are rising but income is stagnant. My fellow counteymen are beginning to open up to foreigners again after a few years of anti-foreigners mentality. Opening up but slowly, many still trying to figure out why we need foreigners in Small Singapore to thrive. Some are saying we lack strong and wise leadership and thus the reason why we are losing out in the region, I think the main reason is still the lack of knowledge in international or at least regional economics by the common people. We are afterall runned by a government that acts by the will of most of our citizens. Citizens got to be wise enough to accept good policies that benefits all in the long term instead of trying to find shortcuts to solving current problems. Still, it’s my home and I will go back to SG, because of familarity.
Mainland China is my home now. I still see a lot of growth and potential here. I’m getting older and needs to consider about retirement. It would not be difficult to retire here. I just need to move away from Guangzhou to a less expensive place if I find it too expensive. China is where I found choices. I have lived on RMB 20 a day here for 5 months before and I can choose to spend more when I want a better standard of living. Both are acceptable when you compare cost to standard of living. To me, these are choices I can make on my own free will. True freedom. In the other 3 places including Singapore, I can’t find such freedom, options are limited. I’m forced to spend even when I know I can do with less. And with such freedom around, real career and business opportunities become available to everyone. So China is currently my first choice. A place where I can choose to both retire when I want to and work hard for the best I want.