BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- China will not end the decades-old policy on
rural land ownership, which says that rural land is collectively owned by
villagers instead of individual farmers, since the rule "meets the requirements
of Chinese farmers for development."
"China has chosen it, due to a historic lesson," said Zheng Xinli, deputy
director of the Research Institute of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central
Committee, on Wednesday.
Zheng spoke at a press conference sponsored by the Information Office of
the State Council, which invited the senior researcher to help explain
interesting points in the Report of the 17th National Congress of the Communist
Party of China (CPC).
Zheng told reporters that private ownership of land had persisted for
thousands of years in China's feudal period, which had resulted in the fact that
rural land turned out to be mostly owned by landlords, while peasants were
impoverished and lost everything if they lost their land.
"It is the historic lesson," said Zheng, "China's socialist system and the
Constitution have ensured the collective ownership for rural land."
Under the Property Law, houses owned by Chinese farmers legally belong to
them. But farmers do not own farmland, although they have the right to use and
Currently, farmers have a 30-year land contract, officially known as the
first-round contract. Upon completion of the first round, they can extend their
contracts for another 30 years, Zheng said.
Government policy allows farmers to transfer their land and thus allow
experienced farmers manage a larger area of cultivated land, to increase farming
efficiency. Farmers who have let out their land under this kind of arrangement
have turned to work in the industrial and tertiary sectors.
The Report proposes the establishment of markets for transfer of land
management rights among farmers. It means that farmers not only have the rights
to use and manage farmland, but also they would have the rights of transferring
the rights to use and manage the land, Zheng noted.