[photopress:Rural_land_which_must_not_bne_misused.jpg,full,alignright]Sources with the Ministry of Land and Resources have said China will continue to ban land expropriation for the purpose of building villas, golf courses and training centers for government departments and institutions. This seems fair, reasonable and echoes the 2007 land use plan released by the ministry.
The area of farmland that can be used for new construction projects, according to the plan, should be roughly the same as last year. In 2006, new construction projects ate up 288,000 ha of Chinese farmland. As there is a constant stream of reports that there is an excessive use of farmland for construction projects this seems fair and reasonable.
The ministry requires local governments to stick to the plan and strictly regulate land use and transfers and land use for construction purposes. Land that require people for their livelihood should be guaranteed, and infrastructure construction projects for rural transport, water conservancy, compulsory education and medical care should be encouraged.
Even that may not be enough.
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 million hectares and it is approaching that bottom line.
China’s top legislature has begunde liberating a draft law which states unequivocally that 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.
Minister of Construction Wang Guangtao, said, ‘Land resources have been wasted in rural areas as rural planning is quite inadequate and fails to meet the needs of farmers. Some local governments have blindly pursued urban development without considering local environmental and economic capacity factors and have built too many ‘vanity projects’.
Source: China Daily
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