Policy and Praxis of Land Acquisition in China

Chengri Ding

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Land acquisition is the primary means used by governments to meet increasing land demand driven by rapid economic and urban growth in China. Since development is prohibited on non-state-owned land, land acquisition in which landownership is converted from collective communes to the state shall take place prior to any land construction. This paper reviews institutional structure governing land acquisition in pre- and post-reform eras and examines consequences and impacts associated with or derived from land acquisition. It is concluded that land acquisition (1) has been used heavily by local governments to fuel urban development and finance infrastructure provision and (2) has resulted in increasing social tension and injustice that may impose a long-term threat to stability and sustainable
development.