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Vice-premier stresses arable land protection

Updated: Jan 22,2021 04:48 PM    english.www.gov.cn/Xinhua

An orderly, lawful process should be in place to curb an increase in unauthorized occupation of arable land to construct buildings in rural areas, and properly deal with such completed buildings, Vice-Premier Han Zheng said.

Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks at a conference held in Beijing on Jan 21. Progress in forestalling the unauthorized occupation of rural arable land was reported and plans for the next steps were mapped at the meeting.

Vice-Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, speaks at a conference on forestalling the unauthorized occupation of arable land to construct buildings in rural areas in Beijing, capital of China, Jan 21, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

He stressed the importance of protecting arable land, which is the lifeblood of grain production, urging practical measures to address problems, as well as a clear division of responsibility with enhanced supervision, discipline and accountability.

While acknowledging existing efforts, Han required "zero tolerance" toward illegally constructing buildings on rural cultivated land, and urged setting clear priorities and a pace for the crackdown.

Supported by related laws, regulations and judicial interpretations, rectification measures should be taken in an orderly manner, depending on the type of buildings constructed on arable land without permission, such as those for unlawful sales, he said.

The rectification drive should first be launched in eligible regions before successful experiences can be promoted elsewhere, Han said.

He also stressed ensuring a smooth approval process to meet farmers’ reasonable needs for using land for building homes.

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