Illegal Occupation of Farmland Punished

China will strictly crack down on the violation of state laws and regulations governing the protection of farmland, according to sources with an on-going national meeting on land resources management.

The per capita share of cultivated land in China is only 43 percent of the world’s average. Only 39.8 percent of the country’s farmland is of high quality.

However, illegal use of farmland for nonagricultural purposes has increased rapidly in the last few years, said Sun Wensheng, vice-minister of Land and Natural Resources, at the meeting being held in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province.

Sun’s ministry received over 5,000 letters and 6,336 phone calls reporting land use violations in the past 21 months. Last year, 90,700 cases on illegal use of farmland were handled throughout the country, more than 630 officials were given administrative or disciplinary punishment and 39 were given criminal sanctions, he said.

(People’s Daily 10/31/2000)

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