IN CHINA, THE ULTIMATE TABOO: LAND OWNERSHIP
In this piece for The New York Times, I look at something that all China-watchers know: the fact that Chinese can’t own land.
It affects cities too–the state’s absolute control over ownership means it can reshape cities pretty much as it sees fit–but it really hurts farmers. Despite 40 years of reforms meant to mimic a property market, they don’t have the ability to leverage their biggest asset–land–for loans, or meaningful rent. The result: China’s countryside is largely stagnant, despite an endless array of reforms, initiatives, promises and so on.