The Chinese government has ruled out the possibility of land privatization, Chen Xiwen, director of the central leading group on rural work, said on Tuesday.
Chen said land ownership was determined by China's constitution, instead of central government policy.
He announced the furthering of land-utilization reform to control illegal sales of farm land and to protect farmers' interests.
China is facing thorny problems in terms of rural land rights issues. Without secure land rights, farmers are increasingly being evicted from their lands to make way for roads, factories and residential areas.
Premier Wen Jiabao warned early last year that illegal uncompensated seizures of land without resettlement were a key source of instability in rural areas.
"It is sparking mass incidents in the countryside," said Wen. "We absolutely cannot commit a historic error regarding land problems."
The government issued a notice last year on strengthening land control, tightening controls over the transformation of farm lands into urban construction uses.
The threshold for transforming farm land into construction use was raised, and the illegal renting of farm land for non-farming uses like urban construction was banned.
(Xinhua News Agency January 30, 2007)