[JURIST] The Chinese National People's Congress [official website] on Friday approved a landmark law protecting private property [Xinhua report; JURIST news archive] by a 2799-52 vote. Chinese lawmakers have been considering the bill for over 13 years, and the final version grants equal protections to both public and private property and states that the "property of the state, the collective, the individual and other obliges is protected by law, and no units or individuals may infringe upon it."
The absence of clear-cut property laws in China [JURIST news archive] has meant that local officials could expropriate property from businesses and private citizens without compensation and convert it into commercial real estate. The law, which was supported by China's entrepreneurial community, is due to take effect October 1, 2007. AP has more. The New York Times has additional coverage.