Su Liu, Civic Exchange


Su Liu is the Great China co-ordinator and policy researcher for Hong Kong-based public policy think tank Civic-Exchange, and also the China representative of the C40 Cities - Climate Leadership Group. She was previously the deputy managing director of the Gallup Organization HK and a communication strategist with Wirthlin Worldwide Asia.

Stories from Su Liu, Civic Exchange

Hong Kong red tide
May 28, 2014
In future, Hong Kong will not only face water challenges from a stretched resource in terms of quantity, but also from deteriorating quality. The latter issue is especially grim, since no matter from land or ocean, Hong Kong’s water sources may literally be inundated with all kinds of pollutions. “Across the country, China has a severe scarcity of safe drinking water”, noted a special report published on China Reform on Caixin Net ( (The Caixin special report). In 2010, amongst all seven major basins – including the Pearl River Basin – only 28.7 percent were found to have I-II water rating, which is considered safe for potable use.
Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir memorial
January 06, 2014
Vision enables us to look far and think beyond present circumstances. If we cannot envision, we do not know where we want to go; and we certainly would not get there. By nature, Hong Kong is a water scarce city, which makes a water vision all the more relevant. So what is Hong Kong’s water vision? Ever since the DongShen Water Supply Project helped to secure 70-80 percent of Hong Kong’s fresh water demand, innovation in developing water solutions rapidly declined.
Singapore's New Water vs Hong Kong's supply from the Dong Jiang
September 06, 2013
The early 1960s were a significant era for both Hong Kong and Singapore in terms of its water policy development. In June 1963, Hong Kong imposed its highest level of water rationing. The residents were supplied with water once every four days, and each time for a four-hour period. This rationing lasted a year. In April of the same year, Singapore had implemented 12-hourly water rationing by district zones, which quickly spread to the rest of the island.
PRD 2020 vision
November 01, 2012
According to the Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) for 2008 -2020, formulated by the National Development and Reform Commission, cities in the PRD are progressively converging into one urban cluster, forming the most densely populated urban corridor in China. The nine prefectures in the region were home to 56.15 million people at the end of 2010, according to the Guangdong Statistic Book 2010. Given that Guangzhou alone expects to have 20 million people by 2020, it is entirely possible the total population of the PRD could double by that time.
Hong Kong water supply
July 05, 2012
In the 15 years since it returned to Chinese sovereignty Hong Kong has survived many uncertainties and crises but the place still lacks a sense of “staying vigilant in peace time”, in order to better prepare for future challenges. This is especially so in the case of water, a key issue that has been neglected for too long. The Dongguan–Shenzhen Water Project started to export water to HK in 1965, since when it has seldom suffered from water restrictions. In the past 30 years, HK has been able to supply water 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Time to vaccinate the environment
May 28, 2012
The environment is a closely related organism, rather like human beings. In modern medicine, what contribute the most to human health are not advanced diagnostic methods, nor the invention of a variety of cure, but the creation and practice of preventive medicine. Ancient Chinese physicians called preventive medicine "cure before it develops into a disease" (“治未病”). There was a saying: "After a symptom develops into a disease, to treat it, is like trying to dig a well when you are dying from thirsty. It would be too late
Deng Xiaoping eyes China's ecological destrution
April 13, 2012
China's environment is sick, suffering not just a single, isolated disease but widespread epidemics. This is indisputable. And no matter how thoroughly we analyse individual causes, it is clear that without fixing its ill-fated development model, China will be forever chasing its pollution problem and will never get ahead of it. The country is once again in urgent need of an emancipated mind-set, redefining the concept of development to address today's conditions and to bring order out of chaos.
Battling cadmium contamination of the Longjiang
February 08, 2012
The cadmium spill in Guangxi province has been the headlines for a few days now and there could be more to come. With two out of the three main tributaries of the Pearl River (西江和北江,the west and the north tributary Xijiang and Beijiang) now contaminated with cadmium, will the Dongjiang (东江,the east tributary) be next? Many people in the Pearl River basin are very concerned about the current situation in Guangxi but few remember that seven years ago there was an even worse cadmium spill close by, on a section of Beijiang that runs past Shaoguan 韶关市) in Guangdong province.
Chinese village hi-rise housing
December 02, 2011
After four years in action, the “appliances to the countryside (家电下乡)” policy has just concluded. Meanwhile, the “farmers into high-rises (农民上楼)” movement of recent years, mired in intense controversy, is going full-steam ahead. Looking at the most apparent differences between urban and rural lifestyles, these two vigorously implemented policies for “benefiting the people” have ostensibly shrunken the gap between rural and urban living.
China rural migrant flow
October 10, 2011
“Those who live in the city want to bail out, while those who live outside of the city want to rush in (“城里的人想逃出去,城外的人想冲进来”)”. The famous motto in Qian Zhongshu’s "Fortress Besieged" (1947) is – more than marriage – a portrayal of urbanization in China today. Why do people in cities want to bail out and why do those outside want to rush in? Where are they going? Where do they want to go?
China high-speed train wreck
September 09, 2011
In the absence of a good governance system China’s “Power the Nation” dream is pushing the country into rapid environmental deterioration. Throughout this year, the alarm bells have been ringing:
C40 Sao Paolo Summit
July 13, 2011
Every two years the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group convenes a major conference that brings together mayors, their senior staff and business leaders from major cities around the world. Through a comprehensive programme of interactive sessions, delegates learn from each other's experience, share best practices and identify collaborative projects.