By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member

On the day that the UK has nationalised some of its biggest banking institutions, China has announced bold new proposals to free up the way 700 million peasants can use state-owned land.

The plans, announced by the Communist Party yesterday via the Xinhua news agency, could allow farmers to exchange thier plots of land or use the sites as collateral for loans. Across the world the news has been hailed as an attempt to ‘set China’s farmer’s free’.

The STEPS Centre’s Rethinking Regulation project has been working with Chinese farmers looking at the regulation of seeds, linking to our affiliate partner POVILL which has been carrying out a household survey of the rural poor. A view of the impact of China’s new anouncements from these projects will be posted on the blog tomorrow.

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