Land Expropriation in China

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Land Ownership and Rural Land Expropriation in the People’s Republic of China

PRC’s Land Ownership system is inspired in the communist public-owned-property principle. It is therefore different from the land system we know in the west. This land system obviously affects the way administrative expropriation of land takes place in the country. The administration and expropriation of rural land has created numerous violent conflicts in Chinese rural areas in the last years. Chinese peasants who have been expropriated consider that they are being abused and their rights compulsory taken away for the benefits of private companies and enterprises. Not only this, but they are receiving what they consider insufficient money for their land. This essay will try to explain how the land system in PRC is regulated and underline its main differences with the systems in liberal democracies. Once done this, we will explain how the expropriation of the rural land is done and explain the unconformity of peasants and the possible ways in which this could be changed. The main problems around rural land expropriation are the misuse of public interest when expropriating, and the compensation system. The former happens by not always attending to the general wellbeing as a purpose for the expropriation. It will be argued that the fact that the only way to convert farming land into constructing land is the expropriation procedure is what creates this problem. The compensation system will be explained, and it will be shown that the farmers receive only a small fraction of what the land use rights are after sold by. We will demonstrate that the reason for this is the value of land by the original purpose system and not the market price.

1. Land Ownership and basic features of expropriation

Land ownership in the PRC is different from land ownership in liberal countries, where private individuals primarily own the land. In the PRC, ownership is public and it was adopted in the...
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