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Gender and Land Rights Database

China

Prevailing systems of land tenure

- In urban areas, land is State-owned. However, land use rights within a fixed term, can be assigned, sold and resold, leased or mortgaged. Agricultural land that has been used for public projects also belongs to the State (27).

State-owned land may be operated under a contract by individuals or any entity, for crop cultivation, forestry, animal husbandry or fishery, as stated in Article 15 of the 1998 Law on Land Administration (27).

- Agricultural collectives own land in rural and suburban areas. Land is operated under a contract for crop cultivation, forestry, animal husbandry or fishery by the members of the collectives. The duration of such contracts is 30 years, according to Article 14 of the 1998 Law on Land Administration (27).

- Private land ownership does not exist. Land tenure is based on two types of land-use rights (LURs) only: i. granted land use right and ii. allocated land use right.

In granted land, the user pays the local government a land grant premium for a stated period of years. The granted land use right is transferable by mortgage and lease, and may not be abrogated by the state except for compensation in the exercise of its right of eminent domain.

In allocated land, the user has no right to transfer the use right and the state may recover the land at any time without paying compensation.

Granted LURs are limited in time, cost the holder an amount proportionate to the land’s expected return and may be held by private individuals and entities, whist allocated LURs are usually given without time limitations, but may not be held by private individuals and entities (27).

- In 1997, the total number of holdings was 193 446 000, with the following legal status:
i. 193 088 000 held by civil persons;
ii. 8 700 held by corporations;
iii. 59 700 held by cooperatives;
iv. 10 300 held by the Government;
v. 21 394 held under other forms of holding (28).

National and local institutions enforcing land regulations

- People’s governments are responsible for the resolution of those disputes concerning ownership and use of land, which cannot be solved by consultation between the parties, as provided for by the 1998 Land Administration Law (20).

- People’s courts are responsible for lawsuit filed in cases wheere a party refuses to accept the decision of the relevant people’s government (20).

Land administration institutions and women quotas

- The government establishes land use guidelines and procedures that are carried out at the provincial or local level (27).

- Local governments administer land-use rights for the state and are responsible for the allocation or granting of state-owned land use rights to users depending on the potential use of the land (27).

- The State Council represents the State in the exercise of the right of ownership of state-owned land, as established by Article 2 of the 1998 Land Administration Law (20).
Under the State Council, the Land administration department is in charge of the unified administration of the land throughout the country, as established by Article 5 of the 1998 Land Administration Law (20).

- Governments at all levels are responsible for the preparation of annual plans for land utilization, as established by the 1998 Land Administration Law (20).

- The Ministry of Land and Resources adopts the measures for the administration of the annual plans on the utilization of land, containing specific arrangements made by the State in each planned year in consideration of the amount of newly increased construction land, the amount of cultivated land supplemented by land development and rehabilitation, and the amount of reserved cultivated land (20).

Provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities can submit to the Ministry of Land and Resources suggestions on the annual plan on utilization of land (20).

- The Land Administration Bureau is in charge of the registration of land use rights (27).

- Most cities have established their cadastral systems for state-owned land, but not so for collectives-owned land, as land ownership is State-owned in urban area and collectives-owned in rural areas (29).

Funding provisions to guarantee women’s land transactions

N/A

Other factors influencing gender differentiated land rights

- A woman’s rights to land in her native village may be threatened by the readjustments that villages periodically adopt to re-allocate land among households, if she marries outside her own village. In fact, her land may be distributed to other household members or taken back by the collective (18).

- The lack of enforcement of the land policies at the grass-root level have favoured the development of local practices and customs that are not in agreement with the national regulations to safeguard women’s land access (30).

- The patriarchal structure of kinship has disadvantaged women in resource allocation. Married women are no longer considered a member of their original household and may lose the right to inherit the land entitlement if they marry outside the village (11).

- Rural women generally have scarce knowledge of lthier and rights due to lower levels of education and adult literacy among women in rural areas. Furthermore, rural women have less access to information as, for example, they are less able than men to attend community meetings, because of their responsibility for childcare (16).

- However, in rural areas, women are taking over decision-making roles, due to the increasing number of men leaving to look for jobs elsewhere (11).

Sources: numbers in brackets (*) refer to sources displayed in the Bibliography