Land Reforms to Be Implemented in China

The Chinese government recently unveiled new land reforms that will affect the way some of the land in rural areas is traded.

These reforms could lead to more rural property owners increasing their earnings from real estate, according to China's Minister for Agriculture Han Changfu. 

The reform pledge, announced by the Communist Party of China Central Committee, will give Chinese farm owners formal rights to their land. This will then give landowners the ability to access the true value of their property when listing it for sale. 

Usually, land in rural China is owned as a collective, while land in urban centres is owned by the state. Rural farmers have the right to use their land, however they cannot directly sell it or have the land developed unless it has been acquired by the government.

Once the reforms are in action, there could be more rural property owners selling their land to move to more urban centres, because they may gain enough finance to purchase real estate in the bigger centres.

However, this is not what the land reforms were originally intended for, according to Mr Changfu.

At a December 6 press conference, Mr Changfu told the media that some of the interpretations of the land reforms were "insufficient" and there are "certain restrictions to the policy".

"The policy is intended to increase farmers' property earnings, not to increase land supplies for urban construction, nor to draw urban residents or commercial capital to the countryside to buy land," explained Mr Changfu at the press conference.

In a November 16 release, the Chinese government pointed out the reforms will give farmers more property rights and they will be encouraged to "develop a shareholding system from which they can realise benefits".

The release also detailed the government's intentions to place a focus on urbanisation in the country.

"The existing urban-rural dual structure is a main obstacle to integrated development. Efforts must be made to allow farmers to participate in China's modernisation," the release stated.

Other points identified in the release include creating a more balanced allocation of public resources between these two areas and building a "healthy urbanisation that puts people at the centre".

This may result in urban centres seeing higher demand for property as farmers and other rural dwellers shift to bigger cities.

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