China’s State Council has pledged to reform laws that allow officials to requisition farmland, while also warning that land grabs cause rural instability and endanger food flows, Reuters reported, citing state-owned Xinhua News Agency. “Rural land has been expropriated too much and too fast as industrialization and urbanization accelerate,” the council said in a meeting. This threatens “stability in the countryside” and grain security, according to the council. The council passed an amendment to laws compensating farmers upon expropriation of their collectively owned land. No further details were provided. Farmers, by law, are entitled to decide, along with other villagers, what to do with their land. However, local officials, in a bid to win pay-offs or other benefits, often do not consider farmers’ wishes. Forced evictions have become common place in China.
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