Introduction of New Rural Land Law Indicates Chinese Leader’s Desire to Return China to Mao Era, Says Expert

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) introduced its first organizational law for managing rural areas, which emphasizes “public ownership” and “collective ownership” of land in the countryside. Experts believe that the Xi Jinping regime aims to firmly control all rural resources and to return China to Mao Zedong’s era.On June 28, the eve of the CCP’s Third Plenary Session, the CCP announced that the “Rural Collective Economic Organizations Law“ had been passed and will be implemented starting May 1, 2025. The law reaffirms that land ownership belongs to the collective, with farmers having only the right to use the land. It categorizes ”rural collective economic organizations” into township, village, and group levels, aiming for comprehensive control over farmers and land resources.Expert: Back to Mao Zedong’s EraCai Shenkun, a U.S.-based political commentator, believes that Xi is facing tremendous pressure brought by changes in China’s economic and political environment. He wants to return China to the Mao Zedong era, firmly controlling all resources, preserving political power, and allowing himself to continue in office indefinitely.“Currently, Xi Jinping’s power in many respects is very close to that of Mao Zedong’s era, and in some respects has even surpassed Mao’s.”“The introduction of this rural law means that the Third Plenary Session’s main goal is returning all resources, whether human, food, land, or mineral resources, to the hands of the Communist Party,” he told the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times. “The authorities’ so-called deepening reform is nothing but further strengthening the absolute control of the Communist Party, so marketization is basically hopeless.”Hu Ping, the honorary editor-in-chief of Beijing Spring magazine, agreed that the introduction of the Rural Collective Economic Organizations Law signaled a failure to bring the expected liberalization policies.“Land privatization is needed for further development of Chinese agriculture. However, the introduction of this law indicates that the CCP authorities have no intention of privatization,” he told The Epoch Times.Related StoriesMr. Cai said that during Chinese state media’s coverage of the new law, they stated it was to “comprehensively restore and develop socialist public ownership with national ownership and collective ownership in rural areas,” seemingly aiming to return to the era of people’s communes.Mike Sun, a North America-based China financial expert, believes that as China’s economy declines significantly, the CCP is increasingly concerned about losing control over rural areas.“After the CCP seized power, through the so-called ’land reform movement,' they slaughtered hundreds of thousands, even millions of landlords, seizing their land and quickly gaining full control of the countryside,” he told the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times.“This ‘Rural Collective Economic Organizations Law’ serves the same purpose: to firmly control all rural resources by furthering control over rural land. In addition, although the current rural land contract responsibility system is due for renewal, it still needs to be resolved at the legal level, so this [Rural Collective Economic Organizations] Law was introduced for this purpose.”Back then, facing the complete collapse of the Chinese economy caused by the Cultural Revolution and people’s commune, the CCP introduced the contract responsibility system, which released land use rights to farmers. By allowing farmers to cultivate crops freely after paying land use fees, the measure stimulated farmers’ enthusiasm for production and quickly revitalized the rural economy, thereby helping the CCP avoid the regime’s first legitimacy crisis after it seized power.In 1958, the CCP launched the Great Leap Forward and the people’s commune movement in rural areas, blindly pursuing high targets in a short period of time. This caused the three-year Great Famine from 1959 to 1961, which the CCP falsely claimed was “three years of natural disasters.”The CCP deployed militias and troops at village entrances, forbidding farmers from leaving to seek food. A large number of farmers, who were even deprived of the right to beg for food, starved to death in rural areas. It’s estimated that as many as 45 million people were worked, starved, or beaten to death.Farmers Unable to Become Urban DwellersThe new law also involves the rural household registration system, which may further restrict farmers in rural areas.Article 18 of the law states, “A member of a rural collective economic organization does not forfeit his or her membership in the rural collective economic organization by reason of attending school, performing military service, engaging in industrial or engineering work, conducting business, getting a divorce, becoming a widow, or serving a sentence, among others.”In other words, residents of rural areas do not change their household registration status due to studying, working, serving in the mili

Introduction of New Rural Land Law Indicates Chinese Leader’s Desire to Return China to Mao Era, Says Expert

.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) introduced its first organizational law for managing rural areas, which emphasizes “public ownership” and “collective ownership” of land in the countryside. Experts believe that the Xi Jinping regime aims to firmly control all rural resources and to return China to Mao Zedong’s era.

On June 28, the eve of the CCP’s Third Plenary Session, the CCP announced that the “Rural Collective Economic Organizations Law“ had been passed and will be implemented starting May 1, 2025. The law reaffirms that land ownership belongs to the collective, with farmers having only the right to use the land. It categorizes ”rural collective economic organizations” into township, village, and group levels, aiming for comprehensive control over farmers and land resources.
.

Expert: Back to Mao Zedong’s Era

Cai Shenkun, a U.S.-based political commentator, believes that Xi is facing tremendous pressure brought by changes in China’s economic and political environment. He wants to return China to the Mao Zedong era, firmly controlling all resources, preserving political power, and allowing himself to continue in office indefinitely.

“Currently, Xi Jinping’s power in many respects is very close to that of Mao Zedong’s era, and in some respects has even surpassed Mao’s.”

“The introduction of this rural law means that the Third Plenary Session’s main goal is returning all resources, whether human, food, land, or mineral resources, to the hands of the Communist Party,” he told the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times. “The authorities’ so-called deepening reform is nothing but further strengthening the absolute control of the Communist Party, so marketization is basically hopeless.”

Hu Ping, the honorary editor-in-chief of Beijing Spring magazine, agreed that the introduction of the Rural Collective Economic Organizations Law signaled a failure to bring the expected liberalization policies.

“Land privatization is needed for further development of Chinese agriculture. However, the introduction of this law indicates that the CCP authorities have no intention of privatization,” he told The Epoch Times.

Mr. Cai said that during Chinese state media’s coverage of the new law, they stated it was to “comprehensively restore and develop socialist public ownership with national ownership and collective ownership in rural areas,” seemingly aiming to return to the era of people’s communes.

Mike Sun, a North America-based China financial expert, believes that as China’s economy declines significantly, the CCP is increasingly concerned about losing control over rural areas.

“After the CCP seized power, through the so-called ’land reform movement,' they slaughtered hundreds of thousands, even millions of landlords, seizing their land and quickly gaining full control of the countryside,” he told the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times.

“This ‘Rural Collective Economic Organizations Law’ serves the same purpose: to firmly control all rural resources by furthering control over rural land. In addition, although the current rural land contract responsibility system is due for renewal, it still needs to be resolved at the legal level, so this [Rural Collective Economic Organizations] Law was introduced for this purpose.”

Back then, facing the complete collapse of the Chinese economy caused by the Cultural Revolution and people’s commune, the CCP introduced the contract responsibility system, which released land use rights to farmers. By allowing farmers to cultivate crops freely after paying land use fees, the measure stimulated farmers’ enthusiasm for production and quickly revitalized the rural economy, thereby helping the CCP avoid the regime’s first legitimacy crisis after it seized power.
In 1958, the CCP launched the Great Leap Forward and the people’s commune movement in rural areas, blindly pursuing high targets in a short period of time. This caused the three-year Great Famine from 1959 to 1961, which the CCP falsely claimed was “three years of natural disasters.”
The CCP deployed militias and troops at village entrances, forbidding farmers from leaving to seek food. A large number of farmers, who were even deprived of the right to beg for food, starved to death in rural areas. It’s estimated that as many as 45 million people were worked, starved, or beaten to death.
.

Farmers Unable to Become Urban Dwellers

The new law also involves the rural household registration system, which may further restrict farmers in rural areas.
Article 18 of the law states, “A member of a rural collective economic organization does not forfeit his or her membership in the rural collective economic organization by reason of attending school, performing military service, engaging in industrial or engineering work, conducting business, getting a divorce, becoming a widow, or serving a sentence, among others.”

In other words, residents of rural areas do not change their household registration status due to studying, working, serving in the military, marriage changes, etc., and remain registered as rural residents.

After the CCP seized power in 1949, it immediately enforced the household registration system nationwide, prohibiting farmers from working and living in cities. People with rural household registrations could not buy grain at certain stores, and their children could not attend school in cities. Children of farmers could only become farmers who had no medical insurance or retirement pensions. At the time, the 360 million rural household registration holders in China became second-class citizens of Chinese society.

.

Farmer Liu Qingyou at his residence in Baojing County, in central China's Hunan Province on Jan. 12, 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)
Farmer Liu Qingyou at his residence in Baojing County, in central China's Hunan Province on Jan. 12, 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)

.

“There is nothing that truly belongs to farmers. The house sites where farmers live are essentially collectively owned, and farmers cannot buy or sell them. The next step may be to reclaim all the land that was previously contracted under the household responsibility system without compensation, which is a foreseeable future scenario,” Mr. Cai said.

“After the 18th CCP National Congress, Xi consolidated his power in the name of anti-corruption, purging a large number of high-level political enemies while making enemies on all sides within the party. Therefore, he dares not to give up power. He knows that once he loses power, he and his family cannot survive, so he must protect his power to the death.”

.