Since October 2006, China has undertaken a series of campaigns
to uncover land misappropriation and harshly punish the relevant
officials. The moves are to ensure farmland area remains above 1.8
billion mu (120 million hectares).
Between the launch of the initial campaign and the beginning of
2007, about 870 officials have been transferred to judicial
proceedings for misappropriating farmland. Among them were more
than 160 officials charged with various crimes.
The figures were released at a press conference jointly held by
the Ministry of Supervision and Ministry of Land and Resources on
The ministries launched a special campaign in October 2006 to
check if all cases in which local governments allocated farmland
for commercial construction use from January 2005 to September 2006
were in line with state regulations.
By the beginning of this year, 22,395 illegal land appropriation
cases were uncovered during the campaign. These involved farmland
as large as 32,873 hectares. A total of 13,059 cases had been
concluded. In addition, 1,488 officials were given Party and
political disciplinary punishment.
In July, the ministries issued a circular announcing the special
campaign on seeking land misappropriation would continue. In
September, a 100-day special campaign was launched to check if all
cases in which local governments allocated farmland for commercial
construction use from October 2006 to July 2007 were
During the campaign, 105 officials were disciplined for their
involvement in land misappropriation.
Qu Wanxiang, the Supervision Ministry Vice Minister, told the
press conference that the land misappropriation crackdown enhanced
public awareness of lawful land use. It also curbed a rebound in
land grabs and played a positive role in implementing macro-control
China has repeatedly vowed to keep the country's total farmland
area at the level of at least 1.8 billion mu and urged local
governments to implement macro-control measures.
(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2007)