BEIJING – The government of China, where the state owns the land, announced on Monday that it will extend its land contracts with farmers by 30 years, until 2053.
Prime Minister Li Keqiang made the announcement during his speech on the work of the government in 2017 and targets for 2018, at the opening of the annual plenary session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing.
Li also said that the government will deepen reform in rural areas, where 41.5 percent of the Chinese population – some 550 million people – lives. This would entail changes in systems of rezoning land, in agricultural production quotas, and in the purchase and storage of grain.
Following the death of Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China, his successor Deng Xiaoping replaced the system of agricultural collectives with rural land contracts valid for 15 years in the first phase (1978-1993). This was expected to last 30 years in its second phase until Li announced the current extension.
Without the extension, most Chinese farmers faced uncertainty over their land within five years.