China

The Fight Against Eminent Domain in China

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Some encouraging news from China via the British Independent:

China's Communist leaders have drafted a proposal to safeguard private property, saying rising personal wealth needs better legal protection.

The proposed property law being debated by China's annual parliament….is the first to cover an individual's right to own assets in China…."

It's being couched in the weird doublespeak rhetoric that China's continued official dedication to old party principles requires:

"Enacting the property law is necessitated by the need to uphold the basic socialist economic system… and by the need to safeguard the immediate interests of the people," said Wang Zhaoguo of the Communist Party's politburo, who introduced the bill.

"People's living standards have improved in general, and they urgently require effective protection of their own lawful property accumulated through hard work," he told 2,835 delegates gathered in the Great Hall of the People.

…….the legislation is a groundbreaking effort to protect private wealth by a government that only a generation ago preached egalitarianism and jailed or executed entrepreneurs as "capitalist roaders". The party is taking this step because a lack of clarity about property rights has allowed corrupt local officials to snatch up land, businesses and homes at will, without giving compensation, causing widespread anger and undermining the government's efforts to encourage private enterprise.

The government needs the growing army of Chinese entrepreneurs to pay taxes and generate jobs.

…….the 40-page final text is very likely to be passed on 16 March when it comes up for vote.

The bill is being sold as a way of protecting the rights of farmers. Official figures show that nearly 200,000 hectares of rural land are taken from farmers every year for industrial purposes, one of the main reasons for the "mass incidents", or petitions and protests, in rural areas.

Whole story here:

[Link via Rational Review .]

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  1. The party is taking this step because a lack of clarity about property rights has allowed corrupt local officials to snatch up land, businesses and homes at will, without giving compensation, causing widespread anger and undermining the government’s efforts to encourage private enterprise.

    The government needs the growing army of Chinese entrepreneurs to pay taxes and generate jobs.

    [cynic]Those damn local officials are taking entrepreneurs’ property and screwing up the national government’s ability to tax the only folks in the socialist worker’s paradise creating wealth and providing useful jobs.[/cynic]

  2. Sure, they’re protecting property rights … after they’ve already driven out 300,000 people in Beijing to make way for the Olympics.

    For the People, Comrades, for the People!

  3. “Enacting the property law is necessitated by the need to uphold the basic socialist economic system…”

    WHAAAA?

  4. When will China come out of the Capitalist closet?

  5. Kip,

    300,000? My understanding is that they are building the venues on mostly empty land. I don’t necessarily doubt the figure, I just don’t see how it’s possible… unless they’re including subway construction or other infrastructure?

  6. Hmm… maybe we should go to a socialist economic system as well… would solve some of my grievances.

  7. Rhywun

    I heard a report that they were using the Olympics partially as an “urban-renewal” scheme. They just don’t want visitors to see some of those old unsightly ramshackle buildings. The fact that people live in them is a minor inconvenience.

    Somehow I doubt that there is much that could have been done to protect those people one the authorities decided they wanted to hold the Olympics.

  8. They just don’t want visitors to see some of those old unsightly ramshackle buildings. The fact that people live in them is a minor inconvenience.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to here this same reasoning applied to, say, the majority of Detroit.

  9. I wouldn’t be surprised to here this same reasoning applied to, say, the majority of Detroit.

    The same reasoning WAS applied during America’s love affair with “urban renewal” and is STILL being applied today (“blight”) when a wealthy, connected developer needs to piece together some plots.

  10. Is this like saving socialism from the socialists?

  11. This is politics from the Bizarro World. On our Earth, the pols tell us that in order to preserve freedom, they have to introduce restrictions on our liberties. Ever heard the “FDR saved capitalism by reforming it” spiel from a lefty? Meanwhile, the Reds safeguard property rights in order to preserve “socialism.” It’s like a chapter out of Hazlitt’s Time Will Run Back.

    Kevin

  12. And how does Chinese Tyranny, or tyranny in general, survive without pigs? If cops are killed then such tyranny is cut off at the head.

  13. May you live in interesting times.

  14. I cracked up when i read that first quoted line. who do they think they’re fooling?

    also, Rhywun, they actually are building a subway tunnel, nice guess. (that may sound sarcastic or snarky or something, but it’s not supposed to; how you correctly pulled out subway tunnel impressed me).

  15. At this rate we’re going to have to move to China if we want to live free.

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