2007-12-26 06:56:35 Xinhua English
BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- China will not end the decades-old policy on rural land ownership, which says that rural land is collectively owned by villagers instead of individual farmers, since the rule "meets the requirements of Chinese farmers for development."
"China has chosen it, due to a historic lesson," said Zheng Xinli, deputy director of the Research Institute of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Wednesday.
Zheng spoke at a press conference sponsored by the Information Office of the State Council, which invited the senior researcher to help explain interesting points in the Report of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Zheng told reporters that private ownership of land had persisted for thousands of years in China's feudal period, which had resulted in the fact that rural land turned out to be mostly owned by landlords, while peasants were impoverished and lost everything if they lost their land.
"It is the historic lesson," said Zheng, "China's socialist system and the Constitution have ensured the collective ownership for rural land."
Under the Property Law, houses owned by Chinese farmers legally belong to them. But farmers do not own farmland, although they have the right to use and manage it.
Currently, farmers have a 30-year land contract, officially known as the first-round contract. Upon completion of the first round, they can extend their contracts for another 30 years, Zheng said.
Government policy allows farmers to transfer their land and thus allow experienced farmers manage a larger area of cultivated land, to increase farming efficiency. Farmers who have let out their land under this kind of arrangement have turned to work in the industrial and tertiary sectors.
The Report proposes the establishment of markets for transfer of land management rights among farmers. It means that farmers not only have the rights to use and manage farmland, but also they would have the rights of transferring the rights to use and manage the land, Zheng noted.