China will continue to ban land expropriation for the purpose of
building villas, golf courses and training centers for government
departments and institutions, sources with the Ministry of Land and
Resources said on Wednesday.
This echoes the 2007 land use plan recently released by the
According to the plan, the area of farmland that can be used for
new construction projects should be roughly the same as last year.
In 2006, new construction projects devoured 288,000 hectares of
The ministry requires local governments to stick to the annual
plan to regulate land use and strictly control farmland transfers
and land use for construction purposes.
Land that requires people for their livelihood should be
guaranteed, and infrastructure construction projects for rural
transport, water conservancy, compulsory education and medical care
should be encouraged.
China has seen a continuous shrinkage in farmland. At the end of
2006, its arable land declined by 306,000 hectares to 121.8 million
hectares from the year-earlier level of 122 million hectares. The
nation has set a bottom line for arable land security at 120
In the latest move to protect farmland, China's top legislature
on Tuesday began deliberating a draft law on urban and rural
planning that will ban "vanity projects" or unnecessarily
ostentatious real estate projects.
The 73-clause draft law said urban and rural development plans
should be drawn up in line with the principles of conserving land
resources, environmental protection, cultural heritage protection,
disaster prevention and relief, public health and public security.
A plan should be effective for around 20 years.
"Land resources have been wasted in rural areas as rural
planning is quite inadequate and fails to meet the needs of
farmers," said Minister of Construction Wang Guangtao.
"Some local governments have blindly pursued urban development
without considering local environmental and economic capacity
factors and have built too many 'vanity projects'," said Wang.
The draft law said a rural area development plan should define
how land is allocated for residential purposes, roads, water supply
and discharge, rubbish collection and livestock raising and take
into account farmers' point of view.
The draft law said illegal buildings not included in city and
countryside development plans must be torn down and individuals or
organizations responsible will be fined up to 10 percent of the
buildings' total value. If they refuse to tear down the unlawful
buildings, the buildings will be confiscated.
(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2007)