As the “year of the dog” arrives in China, a new fad for those partaking in China’s success is weekend skiing. Office groups migrate to one of eight new ski “villages” outside Beijing. Many arrive in SUVs, the current “it” car also used for fashionable expeditions to outbacks in Gansu or inner Mongolia.
Chinese who can afford such luxuries are expectation-setters. Along with Olympic games and space launches, they are models of what China can deliver – a prosperous society that President Hu said in his New Year’s message will allow “all Chinese to benefit.”
Yet officials worry that expectations may have risen too fast. Frustration is felt broadly among those who rub shoulders with wealth but aren’t quite benefiting. At Beitang Catholic Cathedral on Christmas Eve, Bishop Liu Yong Bin appealed to a packed house that “we not become angry when we see others have more than we do.”