Frequently, the discourses on land management and social security policy are kept separate from each other. Access to vital land uses or tenure security, however, are not only relevant to land policy and urban planning but are also important elements of social security policy. Land use planners and policymakers have a huge impact on spaces of poverty and the well-being of the poor. How can we better understand the relationship between land policy and social security policy? In recent years, global discourses on sustainable development, the Millennium Development Goals or universal human rights increasingly have considered the relationship between land rights and poverty alleviation. The paper will discuss how China framed social security policy with respect to housing, tenure security, urban and rural ownership, improvement of slums, the land rights of women and access to common land. Does the country directly or indirectly link land security to social security policy? In conclusion, the paper will discuss how land security could be contained into the minimum social assistance policy and what the approaching path is in China. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.