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New Chinese Property Laws and Private Investments

Submitted by on Thursday, 25 September 2008One Comment

A landmark property rights bill giving private and public property equal protections was passed on by the Chinese Parliament. They have also approved a new corporate tax law that abolishes preferential rates for foreign companies.

Despite fierce opposition from the opposition, the bill was passed this time around. The new law, to be effective from October 2007, stipulates, “the property of the state, the collective and the individual is protected by law, and no units or individuals may infringe upon it.”

It is a reflection of the Government’s recognition of the increasingly important role the private sector plays in China’s economy. The private sector now accounts for 65% of the China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and around 70% tax revenues. The law also addresses the rights of the rising middle class, which has in recent years, pushed China’s urban home ownership rate to more than 80%.

The draft law also introduced the concept of differentiated owners of buildings to help clarify rights of every household in a high-rise residential building over their own space, corridors and the greenbelt and carparking of the compound.

This will help resolve increasing disputes between home owners and the realty management agencies as rights and obligations of both parties are clearer than before and their relationship is fixed by law.

The law says all homes in the residential compound belong to the property owners even if they are used by the real estate management agencies. Without previous agreement, the clubs, carparks and greenbelts belong to the property owners as well, unless the construction company can prove that they enjoy ownership. Under the proposed law, residential building can not be altered for other use unless it is agreed upon by all property owners….etc.

Nevertheless, critics and supporters believe that it’s real test will lie in it’s implementation. China already has several laws governing property rights but the country’s poor track record in the implementation of those laws is admitted even by the Government.

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