Five trillion dollars profit earned by Chinese governments from illegal land grabs

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Wu Jinglian

Xinhua quotes economist Wu Jinglian as saying, in quite a few years in the past, Chinese authorities have earned profits of nearly $5 trillion in selling to property developers the land they expropriated from peasants.

In the course of large-scale urbanisation, expropriation of rural land has given rise to lots of protests that have worried the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The CCP regards corruption and social riots as threats to its rule.

According to the law, officials may pay compensation as high as 30 times the value of the land, but in reality, they made exorbitant reductions from the payments, or even refused to make any payment for the land.

They then sold the land at much higher prices to property developers.

Wu Jinglian, a researcher of State Council’s Development Research Centre, said, “According to conservative estimate, during the urbanisation over the past few decades, some (government) agencies have earned 30 trillion yuan ($4.8 billion at current exchange rate) profits from the difference in land prices.”

Wu was an advisor to Zhu Rongji (Chinese premier from 1998 to 2003).

According to official Xinhua News Agency, Wu said the above at an economic forum last weekend.Source: Yahoo’s Agence France Presse report “$5 Trillion Profits Earned by Chinese Governments from Re-sales of Land” (translated from Chinese by Chan Kai Yee)

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