The Third Plenum and Rural Property Rights: Decisions in the Right Direction

Jonathan Unger

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Dealing with the ownership of land, especially rural land, has been a vexed question in China ever since Deng Xiaoping's reforms began thirty-five years ago. In the countryside China still retains in name the collective system of land ownership first introduced in the 1950s, although in the reform era land-use rights have often been contracted out to individual farming households. In recent years the unjust requisitioning of collectively-owned rural land by local governments so that they can develop the land more profitably has become a major bone of contention, and sometimes the cause of local unrest. Some people expected the Third Plenum to introduce some form of land privatisation as a means of dealing with both the requisition issue and the issue of how to achieve economies of scale in the countryside as the rural population moves gradually into the urbanised areas. Professor Jonathan Unger explains why, in his view, the Plenum's failure to privatise rural land was in fact a positive decision.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationChina at the Crossroads: What the Third Plenum Means for China, New Zealand and the World
    EditorsPeter Harris
    Place of PublicationWellington New Zealand
    PublisherVictoria University Press
    ISBN (Print)9780864739780
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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