Spurred by the rising value of the renminbi and soaring commodity prices, the cost of living for expatriates in two China’s two major cities is fast catching up with expensive cities in Asia, a recent survey has found.
Beijing and Shanghai are up 13 and 23 positions to rank 95th and 100th among 300 locations worldwide. The results were found by the latest Cost of Living Survey conducted by ECA International, a leading international human resources organization.
The two cities are catching up with traditionally more expensive locations in the region, such as Hong Kong and Taipei, the survey said.
Many expatriates said it is true that living costs have been going up in recent months. However, there are big variations as well in terms of currencies they use to pay for their rents or their lifestyles in China.
For example, executives whose salary packages are denominated in dollars feel the pinch more than those paid in euros. The renminbi has been rising against the greenback while dipping against the euro.
Meanwhile, the survey found that differences in the costs of living across China remain considerable. 95th-placed Beijing ranked 87 places higher than China's least costly city, Xiamen.
But the cost of living in second-tier Chinese cities is catching up quickly.
Living costs for foreigners in Chongqing have increased about 12 percent in the past 12 months - double the rise experienced by foreigners in Beijing during the period.
A 6 percent rise in the cost of goods and services typically purchased by expatriates has meant that despite the weakening Hong Kong dollar, Hong Kong's position in the ranking has not changed. It is still the fifth most expensive location in the region and 79th worldwide.
The survey is conducted twice a year, comparing a basket of 128 consumer goods and services purchased by expatriates in over 300 locations worldwide.
1.The cost of living in Beijing rose 13 positions to what rank internationally?
2.By how much have living costs for foreigners in Chongqing risen in the past twelve months?
3.Which two cities are noted by the article for being traditionally more expensive locations?
4.The “basket” used in the survey included over 128 of what kind of item?
3.Hong Kong and Taipei.
4.goods and services purchased by expatriates.
（英语点津 Celene 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Jonathan Stewart is a media and journalism expert from the United States with four years of experience as a writer and instructor. He accepted a foreign expert position with chinadaily.com.cn in June 2007 following the completion of his Master of Arts degree in International Relations and Comparative Politics.