Jun 06, 2022 08:14 AM

Cover Story: Balancing China’s Development With Need for Food Production

In 2017, a team of senior officials from rural Bianma county on the southwestern edge of Sichuan province traveled 2,000 kilometers to Shaoxing city in eastern China’s heavily populated Zhejiang province.

Their mission was to negotiate a deal that would enable the Shaoxing authorities to sell developers the right to build on land that would otherwise be reserved for farmland preservation. The talks opened two days after China’s central government issued rules enabling certain poor, rural regions to transfer building-rights quotas to richer urban areas in a pilot program.

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