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Home >> China
UPDATED: 10:10, March 08, 2007
Full Text: Explanation on China's draft property law - 7
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(6) Compensation for Expropriation. Expropriation of collective- owned land and the houses of urban and rural residents has a bearing on the immediate interests of the people and is a general concern of the society.

As it is, China is a country with a huge population and insufficient cultivated land. At present, the land retained for cultivation throughout the country only totals 1.83 billion mu (or 122 million hectares), with only 1.4 mu (or about 0.0933 hectares) per head, accounting for one-third of the world average level. As is fixed in the Outlines of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan approved at the Fourth Session of the Tenth National People's Congress, by the year 2010, the amount of land retained for cultivation must be kept at 1.8 billion mu (or 120 million hectares), which is a constraint figure, a base line that must not be exceeded. Applying the most strict land administration system and, in particular, effectively protecting the capital farmland are the most urgent and herculean tasks confronting our country today. The draft property law explicitly stipulates, "The State provides special protection for cultivated land through strictly restricting the transformation of land for agriculture into land for construction and keeping under control the total amount of land used for construction. No entity shall expropriate collective-owned land by exceeding the limits of power or in violation of the procedures as provided for by law."

In accordance with the Constitution, the draft property law stipulates that, for public interests, land owned by collectives and the houses and other immovables of the units and individuals may be expropriated within the limits of power and according to the procedures as provided for by law. At the same time, the draft provides for the principles for compensation for expropriations and the specific items to be compensated for.

With respect to the question of expropriation of collective- owned land, the draft property law stipulates, "For expropriation of collective-owned land, such fees shall be paid as compensations for the land expropriated, subsidies for resettlement, compensations for the fixtures and the young crops on land, and the premiums for social security of the farmers whose land is expropriated shall be allocated in full, in order to guarantee their normal lives and safeguard their lawful rights and interests. "This stipulation reflects the principle of the Party and the State that compensation for expropriation of land and for resettlement must be sufficient to guarantee that the living standards of the farmers whose land is expropriated will not be lowered and their livelihood will be ensured for a long time to come. On the question of expropriation of the houses and other immovables of units and individuals, the draft stipulates, " Compensation for resettlement shall be paid to the units and individuals whose houses or other immovables are expropriated, in order to preserve their lawful rights and interests; where the residential unit of an individual is expropriated, his living conditions shall be guaranteed." In view of the unbalanced development of different areas, the specific compensation standards and measures shall be formulated in the relevant laws such as the Land Administration Law in compliance with the principles for compensation and the items to be compensated for, as prescribed in the draft property law, and in light of the specific circumstances.

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