China's Land Grabs: A Case Study

For Al Jazeera, Melissa Chan reports from a village where farmers had their land confiscated only weeks before the autumn harvest:

Documents provided to Al Jazeera by township-level officials showed contracts the government entered into on September 10 – less than two weeks ago.

Four days later, villagers at Liuxiazhuang received notices of the confiscation of parts of their farmland and the bulldozers promptly rolled in.

This took place just weeks ahead of the autumn harvest, and the farmers could hardly believe they had not only lost their land, but their last season of crops.

[…] Other details and documents Al Jazeera English examined only served to confuse the situation even more.

More than $6,000 (40,000 yuan) have been pledged by the government to the village collective for each unit of land taken.

Yet, none of the villagers we spoke to appeared aware of the existence of this money set aside ostensibly for them.

According to villagers, they have not received a penny from the deal so far.


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