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Land, Resources Exploitation to Be Disciplined
The country's limited land and resources should not be exploited freely and should not become sources of wealth for greedy officials, said Sun Wensheng, vice-minister of land and resources, yesterday.

He told the closing session of a national conference that a top item on the ministry's agenda for next year is to strengthen the management of various charges on the utilization of land and resources.

For example, the compensation charges on the exploitation of mineral resources will be at least 5 percent more than they are this year.

With land and resources officials having even more chances to get involved in various deals for profits, measures must be taken to keep these officials upright and trustworthy, Sun said.

Almost all of the big corruption cases exposed this year, such as the one involving Cheng Kejie, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, had something to do with illegal deals in land transfers.

Knowing that abuse of power at grassroots levels is a major temptation leading to corruption, the ministry will thoroughly check the work of its local branches this year.

The government will itself revoke all powers given over to local administrations, but it will maintain a greatly simplified checking and approving system at the same time.

All departments issuing land and resource-related certificates should gradually start "window services," taking applications and providing face-to-face consultations openly.

The ministry will also complete the laws and regulations in the field to provide a detailed foundation for law enforcement.

Among the expected laws and regulations are those specifically dealing with oil, geological data, the protection of mineral resources, the reclamation of land, and the management of land allocation rights.

If problems are discovered, the ministry will examine the causes and mete out strict punishment for offenses, Sun said.

He also warned that with the great improvement in remote-sensing technology, the ministry is now capable of detecting evils at grassroots levels.

China regularly examines the specific changes in the utilization of land.

The ministry is now strengthening its supervision team. Also next year, the ministry will develop ways to further reform its mining enterprises, to complete its survey of reserves and exploitation of major minerals like copper, to improve mining practices, to establish geological disaster prevention mechanisms for 160 counties, and to save geological relics.

It will also continue the freeze on the issuance of mining certificates for eight minerals, include rare earth, wolfram, and stibium.

(China Daily 12/27/2000)

Land Property System to Be Improved
Nation Calls for Efficient Use of Land
Ministry to Update Land Data Yearly
Satellite Monitors Illegal Use of Land
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