A June 2011 land rights case is back in the news after netizens spotted an officials strange answer to a question about why Liangzhou, Sichuan province, was only issuing 40 years leases instead of the standard 70.
While all land in China is technically owned by the government, it is standard practice to issue leases of up to 70 years. After a Liangzhou resident noticed that his local government was only issuing leases 40 years in length, he posted a question online:
All properties in Liangzhong only have 40-year-long land use right. Does it mean we as house slaves will have to remain as house slaves for the second term after 40 years?
The answer given by the Liangzhou Bureau of Land & Resources is what has attracted netizens attention to this over two year old question:
After 40 years, will we still exist in the world? Do not think too long term.
While the government official who wrote the response was probably just being a dick (and, even worse, trying to be funny), excited netizens leaped on the suggestion that the Communist Party might not be around in 40 years (translation by Hug China):
@敲键盘大师兄：The official tells the truth. He does not know either whether the darling party state will still exist after 40 years.
@有饭大师：Eh, it is difficult to say whether your party can survive another 40 years.
After the response went viral (26 months after it was posted, never give up hope internet spammers), land bureau officials apologised for the “inappropriate wording”, though insisting that offering 40 year leases rather than 70 is in accordance with the law.
[Image credit: @tiffanymwan // Via: Hug China]