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Watchdog clamps down on illegal land grabs

Updated: 2014-03-21 19:48
By WANG QIAN ( chinadaily.com.cn)

China's land watchdog is moving to tighten its oversight of illegal land development to ensure that the nation's amount of arable land does not drop below 120 million hectares this year.

Major grain-producing areas and key cities in eastern, central and western China will be the targets of inspections this year, according to a report released by the Ministry of Land and Resources on Friday.

The report said the ministry asked local authorities in Hubei, Sichuan, Hebei, Shaanxi, Guangdong and Hainan provinces to investigate land abuses last year involving the construction of golf courses and villas.

Last year, the ministry instructed local authorities to look into 3,775 land grab cases involving 11,400 hectares of farmland. More than 870 people were punished.