China's land tenure reform: Time for a new direction?

Yongjun Zhao*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    It is claimed that China's economic accomplishments have been ascribed to the adoption of the promarket land tenure reform characterized by granting individual households long-term land use rights. However, the increasing loss of farmland and its induced social conflicts, poverty, natural resource depletion, and poor governance explain the failure of the use of simplistic approaches as evidenced in other countries as well. China has not learned enough from those post-socialist countries in this regard. As land tenure is interwoven with social and political complexities, policy makers need to explore the underlying challenges of sustainable land use and governance in a greater depth. This article reveals the multifaceted nature of land tenure and its linkages with development and village governance. It proposes pro-poor land tenure as truly representing peasant needs for the design of more locally based institutional solutions that contribute to sustainable livelihoods, land use, and equitable development for the Chinese peasants.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)125-151
    Number of pages27
    JournalChina review-An interdisciplinary journal on greater china
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011



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