The Standard: Commerce over culture
The idea of “money first, everything else second” now appears to have affected nearly everyone on the mainland.
So don’t be surprised or upset when you find you have to pay a whole lot more for a ticket to visit a World Heritage site in China – or to discover that designation as a World Heritage site means cheap and commercial overdevelopment of precious parts of the country’s history…
The increases deprive many locals the right to visit these places. According to the Beijing municipal government’s standards, the minimum monthly wage for an employee is 545 yuan and social security for a jobless resident is 419 yuan a month – meaning a single visit to the Forbidden City for a poor wage earner in their own city could cost about 20 percent of their income.