China Announces Land Policy Aimed at Promoting Income Growth in Countryside

The Chinese government is hoping to bridge the rural-urban income divide through a new plan. The New York Times reports:

Chinese leaders said Sunday that they would adopt a rural growth policy aimed at vastly increasing the income of China’s hundreds of millions of farmers by the year 2020, setting in motion what could be the nation’s biggest economic reform in years.

The new policy is intended to stimulate market-driven economic growth in the countryside and to narrow the enormous income disparity between rural and urban Chinese, one of the largest such gaps in the world. Its adoption is another significant step away from the system of communal farming and collectivization put in place under Mao.

Scholars and government advisers said in interviews during the four-day session that the new policy would allow China’s more than 800 million peasants to engage in the unrestricted trade or sale of land-use contracts, good for decades, that are given to them by the government. Adopting such a system would be a significant move toward privatization.

An earlier article has details of the discussion of the decision to approve of the economic reform package. More background on the history of China’s economic reforms under CCP rule can be found here.

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