×

Has China Restored Private Land Ownership?

The Implications of Beijing's New Policy

A woman walks past trees reflected on a lake in front of a construction site of a residential compound on a hazy day in Wuhan, Hubei province, China March 2015. REUTERS

Last March, at a press conference after China’s annual National People’s Congress, Premier Li Keqiang made a remarkable—and remarkably unheralded—announcement: full private ownership of land has been restored in China’s cities. Needless to say, he did not use those exact words. But the import of his statement was the same. Here’s how it happened and why it’s important, both economically and as a bellwether of political change.

When the Chinese Communist Party assumed control over mainland China in 1949, it did not follow Russia’s Bolsheviks in immediately abolishing the private ownership of land. In the countryside, a violent land reform movement brought a change in owners, but not in the ownership regime itself; full collectivization did not occur until the late 1950s. In the cities, both owners and the ownership regime, at least for residential property, were initially left untouched. Over the years,

Loading, please wait...

To read the full article

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue