The expropriation of land has become one of the most salient social issues in China. The existing literature and media reports often attribute this problem to the illicit behaviour by various levels of local governments. However, I see it as a long-standing and highly complicated issue. In this paper, I intend to address the roots of the problem by examining the extent to which local governments are held responsible for massive land laws violations in the CCP’s reform era. By examining legal documents and engaging in latest reforms and case studies, I argue that the massive land laws violations are due to a combination of local, central and more deeply structural factors where both central and local government play significant roles. While the economic incentive and existing legal weaknesses have made local governments directly responsible for these pervading land laws violations, the central government is in fact equally accountable as a result of the 1994 tax reform and its incapability of enforcing land laws and regulations. More importantly, systemic factors such as the collective land ownership and the overall control of the Party over land have to be taken into consideration to understand such a long-lived and difficult issue. Therefore, to solve this problem needs a systemic change at both central and local level, and legal reform towards rule of law. Perhaps the most important of all is to change the authoritarian nature of the Party-state.