Property ownership in China is not as in other countries. Chinese authorities have now issued a draft law that could change the terms of ownership.
Although land in China used to be privately owned, shortly after the Chinese Communist Party took over the government in 1949 it also took over the ownership of all land.
Many laws have appeared since but none have broken that essential tenet — the land belongs to the state.
In the summer of 2008 the Ministry of Land and Resources presented a draft Land Management Law, which expressly stated that the people’s land use rights would be automatically renewed when they expired, ‘with no charge.’
On March 22, the government issued a ‘trial revised draft’ of the Land Management Law with the term ‘with no charge’ replaced by ‘according to relevant state regulations.’
This policy change has not been well received. It has sent the message that government policies are unstable and unpredictable.
UPI Asia reports that some citizens have lamented online about this change. More than 4,000 netizens indicated their opposition when it was posted on the Internet.