Foreign Policy Magazine is out with a fascinating and very well done list of China’s 10 worst laws (damn, why didn’t I think of that). (h/t to Jeremiah over at Peking Duck)
I certainly agree with most of those on the list, but I hardly think it fair to put the New Property Rights Law on there. Here’s what Foreign Policy has to say about it:
What it says: A first, this law granted the right to property ownership by private persons.
What it does: Although one can own buildings and fixtures on land, the land itself still belongs to the state. The Chinese government also has a right to seize private property for “a public purpose,” a vague standard that is often exploited by commercial interests. The state must “provide compensation” for such seizures, but it usually offers a menial amount. Some analysts think that giving peasants in particular the right to sell their land would have tamped down rural unrest and helped millions find work and overcome poverty, but such a dramatic step was apparently too much for the Communist Party.
Though this law is not perfect, it is a giant advancement for China.
For an in-depth examination of that law, check out the following:
Part I, Introduction, is here. Part II, General Principles, is here. Part III, Rules Of Real Property Ownership, is here. Part IV, Real Property Use Rights, is here.