Hints of Discord on Land Reform in China

Edward Wong reports in the New York Times about the recent reform :

Chinese leaders have yet to announce details of a rural reform policy they said they adopted on Sunday, contributing to speculation that Communist officials are in disagreement on major aspects of the policy.

Scholars and analysts inside and outside of China are discussing this week why the leaders have remained silent on the issue. When the Communist Party’s annual four-day planning session began last Thursday, officials in attendance began reviewing a draft of a sweeping land reform policy that President Hu Jintao was believed to have been backing.

Scholars and advisers said the proposed policy centered on two major changes: allowing peasants to engage in the unrestricted trade, purchase and sale of land-use contracts, and extending those contracts to 70 years from 30 years. Senior leaders, including Mr. Hu, intended to push the policy changes through at the session, scholars and advisers said.

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