Some of the most striking findings:
- There has been a steady increase since 2005 in the number of “land takings” or compulsory state acquisitions, and about 43 percent of the villages surveyed have been subjected to such land takings over the past decade.
- The mean compensation that the local government paid to the farmers was approximately $17, 850 per acre. When it was resold by local authorities, mostly to commercial property developers, the mean price was $740,000 per acre.
- When farmers are relocated or “urbanized,” only a bit more than twenty percent gained an urban hukou or registration; 13.9 percent received urban social security coverage; 9.4 percent received medical insurance; and only 21.4 percent had access
to schools for their children.
- Every year, local governments appropriate land from 4 million rural Chinese.
None of this is a good deal for the farmers, and the result, according to Chinese researchers, is that land conflicts are the source of 65 percent of the more than 180,000 protests China experiences annually.
Almost half of China’s farmers have lost their land under shady circumstances to the government and developers, further feeding the country’s simmering problem of unrest caused by land losses and forced relocation.
A new study published on Tuesday found that 43 percent of China’s farmers have fallen victim to land grabs, often orchestrated by local governments, leaving property holders unfairly compensated and lacking in means to make a living.
Last year, surveys showed that more than half of China’s tens of thousands of protests per year are directly related to land loss and forced resettlement.