Survey: Nearly Quarter of Chinese Farmers Not Compensated for Land Seizures

Posted February 7th, 2012 at 7:15 am (UTC-5)
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A new survey published Tuesday suggests that a rising number of Chinese residents have become victims of government land seizures.

The study found that more than 43 percent of rural farmers have been the victims of land grabs since the late 1990s. The survey showed a dramatic increase in such cases since 2007.

Nearly a quarter of those surveyed said they did not receive any compensation for their land. Most of those who did receive payments were substantially under-compensated for their seized properties.

The survey, conducted the U.S. based Landesa Rural Development Institute in cooperation with Beijing’s Renmin University, interviewed over 1,700 farmers in 17 Chinese provinces in mid-2011.

Last week, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao acknowledged that the government must do better to protect farmers’ land rights and give them a much larger share of the profits when their land is taken for development.

He said failure to do so is leading to many complaints and “mass incidents.”

Late last year, villagers in the southern village of Wukan won rare concessions from the government after staging weeks of protests against illegal land confiscations in their community. The provincial government conceded that the villagers’ demands were “reasonable” and called for a new election of local village leaders.