On August 22, 2017, CCIEE held the 98th Monthly Economic Talk, under the theme of Discussion of the Amendment to China’s Land Law. Zhang Xiaoqiang, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of CCIEE, presided over the meeting. Zheng Xinli, Vice-Chairman of CCIEE, Wei Lihua, Director-General of the Department of Policy and Legislation, Ministry of Land and Resources, Zheng Lingzhi, Director-General of the Department of Land Utilization and Administration, Ministry of Land and Resources, and Liu Shouying, Professor of the School of Economics, Renmin University of China delivered their speeches respectively.
Zheng Xinli pointed out that the withdrawal of the right to use rural residential land should be completed through market transfer, rather than the village collective organizations take it back for redistribution. Therefore, the authorities should establish a unified construction land market of the urban and rural, and a transformation mechanism for reducing the rural construction land while increasing urban construction land. Apart from that, a unified national market for the construction land should also be established to meet the requirement of national labor mobility. He noted that the draft amendment of the land law should reflect the outcome of reform and drive further reform. The government at different levels should implement the decision of the third plenary session of the 18th National People’s Congress, and allow the market to play an important role in the allocation of land resource. Furthermore, they should set the reform of rural land mechanism as the core, carry forward the tasks of agricultural modernization, the construction of new rural, urbanization of migrant workers and the construction of characteristic town, so as to contribute to the all-round construction of a well-off society.
Wei Lihua introduced the process of amending China’s land law and the background and consideration of the draft amendment of the land law. She stated that the highlights of the draft amendment can be summarized as follows, removing the legal barriers impeding the entrance of rural collective construction land to the market, improving the rural land expropriation system and rural residential land system as well as adopting some of the good practices resulting from land management reform. Although the consultation process of the draft amendment of the land law in the ministry of land resources has been completed, opinions are still welcomed before the amendment come into force.
Zheng Lingzhi noted that the draft amendment of the land law is undertaken according to the requirement of the central government, led by reform and has a wide range of coverage. The amendment involves 41 items and mainly focuses on the reform of the rural land system, including rural land expropriation, the market entry of rural collective construction land and rural residential land. The draft amendment puts the requirement of the central government into practice and is the pilot project and outcome of land reform. He believes that the amendment comes from reform, which is bound to make great achievement.
Liu Shouyin expressed that the land management law, formulated in 1998 has completed its historical mission. The conventional mode of developing economy by increasing land supply, adopted by a great deal of local governments can no longer meet the requirement of the current social development. The problem of China’s land is not the aggregated amount but a distorted structure. The proportion of the land for governmental and industrial use are too high while the proportion of land used for urban residential is relatively low. Therefore, the amendment of the land law is aimed at changing the old mode of driving local economic growth through land transfer by local governments and realizing the rational value of land. Regarding the ways of land appropriation, we can draw experience from Taiwan’s mode and adopt the general and special appropriation.
In the Q&A section, experts answered various questions from the media and audience. Researchers from CCIEE, representatives from enterprises, research institutions and news agencies took part in the event.