Chinas große soziale Kluft: Die New York Times wirft einen Blick auf die Neureichen und den vollständigen Abbau des Sozialismus: Chateau Zhang Laffitte is no ordinary imitation. It is the oriental twin of Château Maisons-Laffitte, the French architect François Mansart's 1650 landmark on the Seine. Its symmetrical facade and soaring slate roof were crafted using the historic blueprints, 10,000 photographs and the same white Chantilly stone. Yet its Chinese proprietor, a Beijing real estate developer named Zhang Yuchen, wanted more. He added a manicured sculpture garden and two wings, copying the palace at Fontainebleau. He even dug a deep, broad moat, though uniformed guards and a spiked fence also defend the castle. "It cost me $50 million," Mr. Zhang said. "But that's because we made so many improvements compared with the original." Rising out of the parched winter landscape of suburban Beijing, like a Gallic apparition, the chateau is a quirky extravagance intended to catch the eye of China's new rich. They can rent its rooms and, later, buy homes amid the ponds, equestrian trails and golf course on Mr. Zhang's 1.5-square-mile estate. It is even more conspicuous to its nearest neighbors, 800 now landless peasants who used to grow wheat on its expansive lawns. In a generation, China's ascetic, egalitarian society has acquired the trappings and the tensions of America in the age of the robber barons. A rough-and-tumble form of capitalism is eclipsing the remnants of socialism. Those who have made the transition live side by side with those who have not, separated by serrated fences and the Communist Party. ... China now has tens of thousands of multimillionaires, some of whom do not follow Confucian or Communist codes of austerity. In fact, pressure to stand out may be overtaking an earlier impulse to lie low.


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