With urbanization surging in China, conflicts triggered by urban housing demolition constitute a grave threat to social stability. In order to cope with the legislative demands posed by new situations, China’s State Council ("CSC") made amendments to the Administrative Regulations on Urban Housing Demolition and Relocation(1)("2001 Regulations") and promulgated the Regulations on Expropriation and Compensation of Housing on State-owned Land on January 21, 2011 ("New Regulations").
Compared to the 2001 Regulations, the New Regulations set forth some principles in housing expropriation. The New Regulations stipulate that compensation standards should be set no lower than market prices, and require increased transparency during the expropriation process. The New Regulations specify circumstances under which compulsory expropriation can be conducted for the sake of the public interest. Though there are still some debatable points to be clarified, the New Regulations have made significant improvements in the regulation of public rights and the protection of private rights. The promulgation of the New Regulations caters to the economic and social development of China, which fully reflects China’s legislative progress in building a more democratic society. This article will explore the major changes and highlights of the New Regulations.