送交者: tomcatee 于 2004-12-29, 11:01:37:
China's Great Divide
Joseph Kahn and Jim Yardley examine the gap between the rural poor and urban rich.
点链接( http://www.nytimes.com/packages/khtml/2004/12/24/international/20041225_CHINA_FEATURE.html )
可看视频，分education, pollution, protest, religion, land, family and wealth. 点窗口左下角RELATED ARTICLE 可阅详细的文章（需注册，免费）。
下面是最近的一篇的节录。（The part: wealth）
China's Elite Learn to Flaunt It While the New Landless Weep
By JOSEPH KAHN
NYTimes Published: December 25, 2004
Zhang Yuchen, a real estate developer, copied a 17th-century French chateau in suburban Beijing, hoping to attract China's new rich to rent its rooms and buy homes amid equestrian trails and a golf course. The 800 peasants who once grew wheat there have lost their land under new rules that allow the elite to acquire the trappings of America in the age of robber barons.
Mr. Zhang, 57, is a Communist Party member and former senior official at Beijing's municipal construction bureau. He made a fortune building private homes before he secured rights to a sprawling parcel of wheat fields. As the first step in his next project, he cloned the palace and named it after himself.
Mr. Zhang "plunged into the sea" of commerce in 1991. He found a wealthy southern partner who needed help breaking into Beijing's real estate market, then just shaking off the shackles of state control. Mr. Zhang was an insider who could navigate the opaque bureaucracy.
His fortunes improved further as the city expanded to meet him. His retreat became a bedroom community with its own highway exit.
Beijing's city government has tried to slow the loss of rural land. But Changping District struck an unusual deal with Mr. Zhang. The area he coveted would be converted from farmland to a conservation zone. He could then lease the land for an annual rent of $300 per acre, provided it mostly remained green space, according to villagers briefed on the arrangement by local officials.
He was later granted an easement for the palace and a second one for a community of 1,000 luxury homes covering 170 acres. For that change in the contract he paid a lump sum of $9.7 million, or about $57,000 per acre, according to villagers. He declined to discuss the figures.
When important people visit, Mr. Zhang is driven to the chateau from his office at nearby Baxian Villas in a 12-cylinder Mercedes limousine. He wears his hair in a slick pompadour and smiles in a detached way, affecting the formal cordiality of official protocol.
The big test comes next summer, when Mr. Zhang begins advance sales on his 1,000 upscale homes. The suburbs of northern Beijing are now crowded with high-end developments, some offering American-style single-family houses for $1 million or more. Mr. Zhang says he is confident that his will fetch the highest prices. "No one can match our environment," he said.
"They took away our land," says Li Youqing, a 68-year-old housewife in Yangge, who is not related to Mr. Li. "That was our only guarantee in life."
Farmland cannot be bought or sold in China, only leased. To be converted to commercial use, it must be reclaimed by the government and rezoned. Officials then oversee the development or sale of the property. Though the terms of such transactions vary, peasants rarely have any say - or share any profits - when their land is developed.
Yangge residents said the only compensation they have received is the $45 monthly stipend Mr. Zhang agreed to pay the elderly, as well as his promise to employ local workers to maintain and farm the estate.
The money helps. But residents say they are poorer than before. They used to have their own grain, vegetables and farm animals. Now they have to buy all their food in market stalls that line the street outside the village.
"We have to pay city prices for our food but still live on farm incomes," Ms. Li said.
The bigger frustration is the spectacle of riches across the moat. The $9.7 million villagers say Mr. Zhang paid to build private villas understated the land's market value, they argue. They say there should have been no special deal for him.
They also claim that the money he paid vanished. Local leaders promised that the money would be used to start companies, shares in which would be distributed to all who had farmed the land. But the villagers say that no such companies exist and that no shares were issued.
To date, the government appears to have offered strong backing. Beyond converting a large swath of farmland into a semiprotected conservation zone with easements for property development, Changping District made the chateau part of its annual plan. That minimized cumbersome red tape.
His ties reach higher still. After the chateau opened, Mr. Zhang was host to Jia Qingling, a member of the standing committee of the ruling Politburo and the fourth most powerful man in China by rank. Two poster-sized color photos of Mr. Jia touring the castle hang in the wine bar.