Monday, January 08, 2007

China to Discuss Property Rights Legislation

As more and more Chinese people start to own significant properties like homes and vehicles, their ownership calls for recognition and protection

When China’s National People’s Congress opens its annual assembly in March, it will review and very likely pass a couple of new legislations, including the much anticipated and debated Property Law.

Right now, the draft has been sent to over three thousand People’s Congress representatives around the country for preview. But people are calling the newest draft to be released to the public, not just to legislators.

The law addresses issues like land property, compensation for government acquisition of private properties and farmers’ rights to use land under contract with the state. Initiated in 2002, the legislation has gone through seven reviews by China’s top legislators, setting the record for a single law draft in the country’s legislation history.

One version of the draft was publicized in July 2005 for public review and drew over 11,000 comments and suggestions. The draft is now of its seventh version, and the public has yet to get a glance of the latest update, which triggered calls on the Internet for a public review.

A poster, with a byline of Zheng Xianli, wrote in an online forum that establishing the Property Law, which basically is about protecting ownership of properties, “is never just the business of a few law experts,” and called for the latest draft to be made pubic “as soon as possible.”

----by Josie Liu

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