The simmering issue of property rights in China has burst into the open with the upcoming expiry of residential leases in several wealthy cities and a contentious plan to charge homeowners to renew them, the Financial Times reports. China has no private property rights, and since reforms in 1980s has created a patchwork of leases. The issue is in the spotlight as 20-year leases in Wenzhou in eastern China are due to expire, with the local government asking homeowners to pay up to a third of their homes’ value to renew their rights, sparking outcry. The Property Law of 2007 says land-use rights can be renewed but does not specify the criteria for doing so, adding to the confusion.
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