Sunday, March 18, 2007

China passes new law on property

China's parliament has wrapped up its annual session, passing a landmark law to increase private property rights.
It also approved a bill ending preferential tax treatment for foreign firms, setting a standard rate of 25%.
Premier Wen Jiabao ended the session as he had begun it last week, promising a move to more sustainable growth.
He also raised issues such as corruption, regional ties and international fears over China's military build-up.
Contentious law
China's leaders have been struggling for decades to enact a law to cover private assets - seen an important step away from Communist collective ownership and towards a market economy.
But some legislators feared that while the new property law would undoubtedly increase protection for home owners and prevent land seizures, it would also erode China's socialist principles.

Netizens unmoved by NPC
Long road to property bill
In fact, according to Daniel Griffiths, BBC correspondent in Beijing, this has been one of the most contentious pieces of legislation introduced in China in recent times.
But despite the concerns, when it came to putting the bill to the vote, 99.1% of the 2,889 legislators attending the NPC backed the property law.
The tax legislation - designed to wean China off an export-driven economy dominated by the manufacture of cheap goods - was passed with only slightly less support.
These high percentages are not unusual. The parliament - the National People's Congress (NPC) - meets just once a year and is largely a rubber stamp to endorse the policies of the ruling Communist Party. Courtesy: BBC News

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