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Nation on Save Land Mission
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The country will strengthen its governance of large-scale public construction projects to avoid "prestige projects" that are often blamed to be a waste of land.


A statement, issued jointly by the ministries of Construction, Finance and Supervision; the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Audit Office yesterday, said the number, scale and standards of large public projects should be in accord with national and regional economic development.


Large-scale public construction generally means buildings for public use, such as offices and commercial and educational establishments, spread over more than 20,000 square meters.


The move is one of the country's latest measures to curb relentless illegal land acquisition and to protect its diminishing arable land.


"Some local governments, brushing aside the national status quo and their own economic strength, are keen on building some unrealistic large-scale prestige projects, which take up excessive land," the statement said.


It urged local governments to give up the blind pursuit of "externality" in projects, and instead to pay attention to historical and cultural characteristics in large-scale public projects.


In a related development, the Ministry of Construction rescinded a draft on building houses over 90 square meters, just a day after it was posted on its website on Tuesday to solicit opinions, the Chinese media reported.


The draft, taking climatic factors and the number of storeys into consideration, had given different standards for the construction of houses over not more than 90 square meters in different regions of the country.


(China Daily January 12, 2007)


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