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Nation Cracks down on Illegal Land Use

The land administration authoraties said on Sunday that it has begun to investigate into five major cases involving illegal use of land in a bid to protect the country's precious land resources.


Zhang Xinbao, director of Law Enforcement and Supervision Bureau under the Ministry of Land and Resources, said the five cases happened in northern Tianjin Municipality, northwest Shaanxi Province, respectively.


Zhang said the ministry wants to crack down on illegal use of land in the harshest and fastest possible ways in accordance with law.


Tianjin Airport Logistics and Processing Zone was found to have developed land earlier this year without obtaining government permission as required by law over a land covering about 20 square kilometers, said Zhang.


Satellite pictures show the area for non-agricultural development in the zone has increased by at least 200 hectares, most of which once was farmland, said the official.


The Qingshanhu District government in Nanchang, provincial capital of Jiangxi Province, reportedly violated regulations regarding land transfer over a piece of 26 hectares of farmland by transferring the land at a fixed price, while the regulation calls for public bidding to determine the prices of land for commercial development.


Qihe County government in Shandong Province was reportedly suspected of illegally approving the transfer of 186 hectares of farmland for golf course and expensive villa projects, said the official.


Zhang said the ministry will tell the public the results of the investigation.


Earlier this year, five departments of the central government, including the ministry, launched a nationwide crackdown on illegal transfer of land.


A total of 168,000 cases involving illegal use of land have been handled so far this year, twice as much as the same period of last year, said the official.


(Xinhua News Agency November 17, 2003)


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