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Kris Hartley
Kris Hartley
Kris Hartley is an assistant professor of public policy at The Education University of Hong Kong.

A lack of mobilisation capacity was the reason given for Hong Kong’s abandonment of mass Covid-19 testing. Less has been said about the erosion of civil society and its effects on crisis response.

Governments must recognise that technology does not exist in a vacuum but amid broader forces that are often unpredictable. Citizens’ security and privacy concerns cannot be dismissed with assurances about the fairness and objectivity of technology.

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While competition can foster innovation, in the current global crisis, concerns about intellectual property protection and efforts to cultivate diplomatic loyalties through vaccine provision can obstruct the type of cross-border collaboration needed.

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Tragic though they may be, Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdowns offer a glimpse into an alternative future in which air is safe to breathe. How India and China, as rising powers, manage the pollution and environmental degradation will shape this future.

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