Property Seizure in China: Politics, Law and Protest

2200 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | Monday, June 21, 2004 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Transcript (PDF) (Text)

Over the past year, urban demolitions and rural land requisitions have become two leading causes of social unrest in the PRC. Alarmed by an explosion in the number of petitions, administrative lawsuits, and street protests sparked by property seizures, the Chinese government has taken several limited steps to address popular concerns. But the rapid pace of development and the high value of land in China continue to fuel corruption and abuse in land transactions.

This Roundtable examined the law and politics of land seizure in urban and rural China and assessed whether recent reforms, including the amendment of China's Constitution to explicitly protect private property rights, will help to more fairly balance the interests of the government, developers, and individual tenants.


Dr. Sara (Meg) Davis, Researcher, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch

Mr. Jacques deLisle, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School 

Mr. Roy Prosterman, President, Rural Development Institute



Submitted for the Record:

Mr. Patrick A. Randolph, Professor of Law, University of Missouri at Kansas City