Business, Economics and Jobs

Chinese government v. farmers: the fallout


Villagers hold banners and placards during a protest rally by residents of Wukan, a fishing village in the southern province of Guangdong, as they demand the government take action over illegal land grabs and the death in custody of a local leader on December 19, 2011.



Tensions between Chinese farmers and the government over land grabs has been rising for some time now.

The Wukan protests of 2011 are probably the most famous, but China faces hundreds of thousands of protests every year and many are protests over land grabs.

Earlier this week we wrote about Chinese farmer Luo Baogen who refused to relocate when the government started seizing land to build a highway, because the compensation he was being offered wasn't adequate. When he refused, the government built a highway around his house.

But how unfair is the compensation?

A survey conducted by the Development Research Center of the State Council (quoted by Chinascope) found that "40 to 50 percent of the value-added part of land acquisition goes to investors, 20 to 30 percent goes to the local government, 25 to 30 percent goes to the village organizations (grassroots government body), and the farmer who sold the land receives only 5 to 15 percent of the entire pie."

Value added land refers to land that needs improvements that will boost value.

Chinese vice premier Li Keqiang has said urbanization is a priority and reforming China's rural land system is a crucial part of that. But it's unclear how this will impact compensation for farmers.

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