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Satellite to Check Illegal Land Use
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China has used satellite remote sensing techniques to check illegal land use in 90 cities, said an official with the Ministry of Land and Resources on Tuesday.


"The techniques will help find out and check illegal land use in time and give full play to the role of government macro-control in land supply," said the official with the ministry's Bureau of Law Enforcement and Supervision, who didn't give his name.


The official said satellite pictures using remote sensing techniques can show the changing of a city's newly used land for construction in a period, thereby find out whether the involved land use breaks laws.


The government check will focus on activities like approving lands in contrary to government plans and industrial policies and illegally expropriating farmland for construction, according to the official.


"We'll resolutely prevent illegal land use from rebounding," the official said.


The Chinese government has seen checking excessive growth of land supply as an effective way of curbing runaway fixed-asset investment and cooling the economy.


Measures have been taken to tighten land supply last year, including higher taxes on urban land use and stripping local governments of their authority to spend the money from land sales.


China's economy grew 10.7 percent year on year in 2006, an acceleration of 0.3 percentage point against 2005.


Meanwhile, fixed asset investment kept growing rapidly last year, up 24 percent from 2005.


(Xinhua News Agency February 28, 2007)


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