China’s Land Seizures Drop

At The Age, John Garnaut reports that China is seeing a reduction in violent land grabs as land prices drop and government policy softens:

The slowdown in the Chinese economy is producing an unexpected reduction in violence and social conflict, a senior Chinese security official says.

Falling land prices and fewer transactions have reduced the number of forced land appropriations, which had accounted for an estimated two-thirds of the 187,000 “mass incidents” reported for 2010.

[…] He pointed to a reduction in land disputes, which he credited in part to a shift in official focus away from economic growth and also a less confrontational approach to resolving social disputes.

[…] The head of the China program at the Carter Centre, Liu Yawei, said a possible downgrading of the security portfolio at the upcoming 18th Party Congress could help reduce the role of force in dealing with social conflict.

Garnaut cites a recent report by Amnesty International, covered last week on CDT, which gives the central government some credit for combatting land seizures. Also last week, however, Caixin reported that the land sales that fuel forcible evictions have strongly rebounded recently, following a slow first half of 2012.

See more on land disputes in China via CDT.