China Faces A Second Land Revolution – Kent Ewing
From Asia Times:
Fed up after their land was seized and their protests ignored, farmers have taken to the Internet to declare an end to collective land ownership in China. What began as an isolated protest last month has turned into a movement that has spread to three provinces and one municipality. So far, the central government has largely ignored the farmers’ bold declarations, which most analysts think will come to naught.
But, while it is true that this cyber revolt will probably pay no dividends in the short term, it could eventually lead to a long-overdue second land revolution as China faces the need to modernize its agriculture in the same way it is modernizing other industries.
Such a revolution may not end with private ownership of farmland – which would, after all, contradict one of the core principles of Communist Party rule – but it could provide farmers with land-use rights strong enough to protect them from the continuing onslaught of greedy developers and corrupt local officials who routinely conspire to seize farmland for profitable commercial development. [Full Text]