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Xie Zengyi: Extension of Rural Land Contract—an Important Measure for Rural Rejuvenation

The Report to the Nineteenth Party Congress has made a series of important arrangements for the solution of agricultural, rural and farmers’ problems. One of these measures is “to extend the current round of rural land contracts for another 30 years upon expiration”. This is a key measure for safeguarding the farmers’ property rights and interests, which is of great significance to the realization of rural rejuvenation in China. It is the main motive force behind the implementation of the rural rejuvenation strategy, which declares that China will consolidate and improve the basic rural operation system and advance reform of the rural land system. The land problem is the key problem in rural areas that has a directly impact on farmers’ interests. The arrangements put forward in the report to the Nineteenth Party Congress—namely “rural land contracting practices will remain stable and unchanged on a long-term basis and the current round of contracts will be extended for another 30 years upon expiration”— will play an important role in maintaining the stability and continuity of China’s rural policy, greatly enhance farmers’ enthusiasm for production, and lay a solid foundation for the implementation of the strategy of rural rejuvenation. It is a key measure for the protection of farmers’ property rights and interests. The Report to the Nineteenth Party Congress points out that China will consolidate and improve the basic rural operation system, advance reform of the rural land system, and improve the system for separating the ownership rights, contract rights, and management rights for contracted rural land, press ahead with reform of the rural collective property rights system, safeguard the property rights and interests of rural people, strengthen the collective economy, and adhere to the collective ownership of rural land, to the basic status of household management of production, and to the stability of land contract relationship. The core of these measures is to uphold farmers land rights and interests. The land contract right is one of farmers’basic rights and extending land contracts provides farmers a long-term guarantee for their land income and their land rights and interests. It is a necessary measure for advancing agricultural modernization. Extending the land contracts is conducive to promoting through land transfer of scale and professional management of land, raising the efficiency of the use of rural land, and releasing more labor forces and resource bonuses, and it creates favorable conditions for the construction of industrial system, production system, and management system of modern agriculture and accelerates agricultural modernization. In order to implement the important arrangements made by the CPC at its Nineteenth National Congress and safeguard farmers’ property rights and interests, China should further improve the relevant laws and transform some of these polices into laws. Firstly, it should revise the Law on the Contracting of Rural Land to add a provision on the extension of land contracts for 30 years upon expiration, so as to give legal confirmation and safeguard to this arrangement; secondly, it should adopt legislation to separate land contract right from land management right; and thirdly it should further clarify various legal competences of land contract and management rights, strengthen the property right attribute of land contract right, and give farmers the rights to possess, use, benefit from and transfer contracted land.

主办:中国社会科学院法学研究所、国际法研究所
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