[photopress:property_peasant_land_disappearing.jpg,full,alignright]According to the Ministry of Land and Resources almost a quarter of new land acquisitions in Chinese cities are illegal.
A survey using remote sensing satellite technology showed 22% of new acquisitions in 90 medium-sized and large cities were illegal.
The data collected from October 2005 to October 2006 also showed more than 80% of acquisitions were illegal in eight cities, where more than 16,000 hectares was illegally used.
Zhang Xinbao, director of the supervision bureau of the ministry, said about 51% of new land-use projects in the 90 cities were illegal and the figure was as high as 80% in 17 cities.
He said the illegal use of land was a growing problem in medium-sized cities, rural areas and in central and west China. He said the top 15 cities with the highest proportions of illegal use and acquisitions were mostly in central or west China.
As GDP growth played a crucial role in official promotion, local governments often acquiesced to illegal land use to attract investment.
Official figures show that investment in fixed assets in urban areas rose to RMB6.67 trillion in the first eight months of 2007, an increase of 26.7% over the same period last year. It may well be that the rural scene in our illustration is headed for extinction.
Source: People’s Daily Online