The Dual System of Land Use Policy and Its Related Problems in Contemporary China

  • Xiaogang Deng
  • Lening Zhang
  • Andrea Leverentz


Land ownership is a crucial issue. Nearly all social struggles in history are “essentially for the ownership and use of land” (Weber 1988, 343). Throughout China’s history, land and its distribution have been central to any understanding of the country’s complex relationship between power, politics, and economics (Brenner 2004). Various land tenure policies provide an insight to the historical changes and to gauge rapidly changing social and economic landscape in contemporary China. China’s dual land tenure system has become a critical source of debate in China’s rising housing costs and widespread official corruption in land transactions. The dual system of land use reflects the transitional nature of Chinese economic structure that attempts to maintain centralized administrative control over land use and at the same time allows land allocation to those who can pay the highest price for commercial lease. The dual system creates an unparalleled opportunity for widespread corruption and various social problems.


Real Estate Dual System Public Ownership Land Acquisition Social Unrest 
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© Reza Hasmath and Jennifer Hsu 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaogang Deng
  • Lening Zhang
  • Andrea Leverentz

There are no affiliations available

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