Government agencies will forge closer links to stop illegal land
acquisition and provide better protection for the country's
depleting arable land banks, a top official said yesterday.
"We are exploring new ways to involve other departments to go
after those found acquiring land illegally," Gan Zangchun, deputy
State land inspector-general of the Ministry of Land and Resources
The scheme will see violators being denied registration with
industrial administrations and bank loans in related transactions,
Gan said at a press conference.
The Ministry of Land and Resources is currently working with the
Ministry of Supervision to tackle corruption and rule violations in
land-leasing cases, he said.
Illegal land acquisition involves the unauthorized expansion of
construction and the use of farmland for non-agricultural use.
The practice has become rampant with the country's smoldering
industrial and housing sector, and a strict arable land protection
The government has set a minimum of 120 million hectares for
arable land but there are only about 121.8 million hectares now,
making it a "very demanding task to achieve the goal", Gan
Welcoming the new cooperation, experts said fundamental reform
on the evaluation system of local leaders and the country's
development model are needed to weed out irregular land use and
"Under a system that overemphasizes economic growth, it is
inevitable that localities will pursue industrial projects and that
leads to irregular land use," Kong Xiangbin, an associate professor
with the China Agriculture University, said.
"While it is difficult to get bank loans and attract human
capital, land is one avenue available for local governments to
manage and facilitate development," he told China
Gan also said yesterday that the ministry is collaborating with
the Organization Department of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China, the country's top cadre management organ,
to hold local officials accountable for protecting farmland.
The top leadership had proposed such an accountability system in
Gan yesterday presented major rule violations from a 100-day
campaign, which is set to end on December 25, targeted at irregular
Among those violators, major leaders of two terms of the Kaiping
county government in Guangdong were stripped of their Party and
government posts as they illegally approved about 2,000 hectares of
farmland for industrial uses.
More than 22,000 cases of illegal land use covering more than
328,72 hectares were reported between January 2005 and September
(China Daily December 11, 2007)