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China Buys Abandoned Rural Homes to Free Up Land for Development

By Wang Su and Li Rongde
A farmer walks across a field in Sichuan province's Lu county in May 2015. The county government has broken new ground by capping the amount of land available free-of-charge to villagers for home construction. Photo: VCG
A farmer walks across a field in Sichuan province's Lu county in May 2015. The county government has broken new ground by capping the amount of land available free-of-charge to villagers for home construction. Photo: VCG

Last year, Xiong Guoqing sold his abandoned adobe house to the local village government for around 53,000 yuan ($8,263) and later bought an apartment in a nearby residential compound for little over 130,000 yuan.

That allowed the government to demolish his house in Lu county, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, and either reassign the land to a large-scale agribusiness or a property development project.

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