March 19, 2007


Property law denies farmers the good earth (Antoaneta Bezlova, 3/20/07, Asia Times)

China's national parliament passed a controversial property law on Friday that, despite lofty-sounding clauses and media hype, fails to safeguard the ownership rights of more than half the population.

China's 750 million rural residents cannot own farmland, a legacy of Maoist collectivization in the 1950s, which violently persecuted landowners. Instead, they must lease from the state and have little or no recourse when local officials move to take it. The new law does nothing to change this reality.

"How can you enact a piece of national legislation that is inapplicable to some 60% of the country's population?" mused Wen Tiejun, a senior expert on rural issues at Renmin University in Beijing. "It only goes to show that China's rural and urban division is going to continue for a long time."

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 19, 2007 7:08 AM
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