China's Ministry of Land and Resources has vowed to update data on regional land resources every year to make it more accurate and comprehensive.
Minister Tian Fengshan said the data is used for policy decisions, land ownership determination and drawing borders among other functions. Tang made the remarks yesterday at a conference held by the ministry on this year's survey.
The first such survey was undertaken in May 1984, with over 500,000 Chinese officials and land management experts participating. The country's first overall and unified land resources investigation was concluded in October 1996.
Although some of the data was released by the ministry, the National Bureau of Statistics and other governmental departments in 1999, the complete maps, data, and theses had not been published in whole until recently.
Tian said Chinese land officials and experts should really be proud of themselves for the great achievements of the survey. It is the country's "most systematic, complete, and accurate survey to date," the application of which has enabled China to save much effort, time and money.
Based on the survey results China produced its famous policy of "strictly protecting the cultivated land" and decided the basic program of development of the western regions.
The survey results helped revise plans for the Three Gorges Project. On another key construction project, the building of the Beijing-Kowloon railway, the survey data was used to settle over 1000 land disputes, saving 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million), and completing the resettlement of residents five months ahead of schedule.