The World

10 ESSENTIAL STORIES

1 | China Going Back to the Land The ruling Communist Party announced a major initiative to overhaul the country's land-use policies, still hampered by the unwieldy collectivization policies of the Mao Zedong era. The plan, unveiled Oct. 19, is an attempt to jump-start agricultural productivity and promote prosperity among its restive farmers, who have largely been bypassed by China's economic boom. Currently, farmers are entitled to the proceeds from their sales but do not own the land--a system easily exploited by corrupt officials and developers. Beijing hopes the reforms--enabling farmers to lease, swap, subcontract and transfer land-use rights--will help double...

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