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China Clamps Down on Illegal Land Use
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A total of 6,133 hectares of land were prevented from illegal use in China during 2006, following increased efforts led by the Ministry of Land and Resources (MOLR) and the Ministry of Supervision.

Wang Shouxiang, head of the MOLR Discipline Inspection Commission, said the ministry probed 34 cases of illegal land use last year. He did not provide details on the areas involved or the nature of the cases.

The clampdown mainly focused on land development approvals that were contrary to government policies and illegally expropriated farmland, Wang said.

Half of the provinces have established compensation policies for farmers whose land is expropriated, according to the official.

The ministry also probed eight cases on illegal development of mining resources, he added.

China has been trying to reduce the amount of land available for development by imposing higher taxes on urban land and stripping local governments of their authority to spend the money earned from such sales.

(Xinhua News Agency March 1, 2007)

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