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Land leases to be extended to protect farmers' rights

By CAO YIN | | Updated: 2017-10-31 15:00

China plans to maintain long-term stability in rural land leasing by extending existing contracts by 30 years upon expiration, according to a draft amendment to the law.

A draft of the revised Rural Land Contracting Law was submitted on Tuesday to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the top legislature, for its first reading.

"The 30-year extension aims to keep rural land contracting stable and unchanged on a long-term basis, and its further goal is to protect farmers' rights," said Liu Zhenwei, a senior official on the NPC's Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

Some farmers have hesitated over renting more land due to concerns their business could suffer if the status of the land changes when their lease runs out, as the current law limits a farmer’s leasing rights to 30 years.

The draft revision is in line with the report presented by General Secretary Xi Jinping at the opening session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Oct 18, when he said rural land leasing would remain stable, and that existing contracts would be extended by 30 years.

In addition, the draft states that leases for grasslands should last from 30 to 50 years, while those for forest land should last 30 to 70 years.

"If the land is used for planting a special forest, the contract term can also be extended after obtaining permission from the State Forestry Administration," the draft said.

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