(Adopted at the 16th Meeting of the Standing
Committee of the Sixth National People's Congress on June 25, 1986, amended in
accordance with the Decision on Revising the Land Administration Law of the
People's Republic of China made by the Standing Committee of the Seventh
National People's Congress at its 5th Meeting held on December 29, 1998, and
revised at the 4th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National
People's Congress on August 29, 1998)
ChapterI General Provisions
Article 1 This Law is enacted in accordance with the Constitution for the
purpose of strengthening land administration, maintaining the socialist public
ownership of land, protection and developing land resources, making proper use
of land, effectively protecting cultivated land and promoting sustainable
development of the society and the economy.
Article 2 The People's Republic of China practices socialist public ownership
of land, namely, ownership by the whole people and collective ownership by the
Ownership by the whole people means that the State Council exercises the
right of ownership of State-owned land on behalf of the State.
No units or individuals may encroach on or transfer land, through buying,
selling or other illegal means. The right to the use of land may be transferred
in accordance with law.
The State may, in the public interest, lawfully requisition land owned by
The State applies, in accordance with law, a system of compensated use of
State-owned land, with the exception of land the right to the use of which is
allocated by the State within the provisions of laws.
Article 3 To value land highly, use land rationally and protect cultivated
land effectively is China's basic policy. People's governments at all levels
shall take measures, draw up overall plans, tighten control, protect and develop
land resources, and prevent unlawful occupation and use of land.
Article 4 The State applies a system of control over the purposes of use of
The State formulates overall plans for land utilization in which to define
the purposes of use of land and classify land into land for agriculture, land
for construction and unused land. It shall rigidly restrict conversion of land
for agriculture to land for construction, keep the total area of the land for
construction under control and give special protection to cultivated land.
Land for agriculture as referred to in the preceding paragraph means land
that is directly used for agricultural production, including cultivated land,
forest land, grassland, land for irrigation and water conservancy and water
surfaces for aquaculture; land for construction means land for construction
buildings and other structures, including land for housing in urban and rural
areas, for public utilities, for industries and mining, for communications and
water conservancy, for tourism and for military installations; unused land means
land other than land for agriculture and construction.
All units and individuals shall use land in strict compliance with the
purposes of use defined in the overall plans for land utilization.
Article 5 The land administration department under the State Council shall be
in charge of unified administration of and supervision over the land throughout
The establishment and duties of the land administration departments of local
people's governments at or above the country level shall be decided by people's
governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under
the Central Government in accordance with the relevant regulations of the State
Article 6 All units and individuals shall have the obligation to observe the
laws and regulations governing land administration and shall have the right to
report against or accuse any violations of such laws or regulations.
Article 7 The people's governments shall reward the units or individuals that
achieved outstanding successes in protecting and developing land resources,
using land rationally and carrying out relevant scientific research.
Chapter II Ownership of Land and Right to the Use of Land
Article 8 Land in the urban areas of cities shall be owned by the State.
Land in rural and suburban areas shall be owned by peasant collectives,
except for those portions which belong to the State as provided for by law;
house sites and private plots of cropland and hilly land shall also be owned by
Article 9 State-owned land and land owned by peasant collectives may be
lawfully determined to be used by units or individuals. Units and individuals
that use land shall have the obligation to protect and manage the land and make
rational use of the land.
Article 10 Land owned by peasant collectives that belongs lawfully to peasant
collectives of a village shall be operated and managed by collective economic
organizations of the village or by villagers'committees; land already owned by
different peasant collectives that belong to two or more different collective
economic organizations in the village shall be operated and managed by the rural
collective economic organizations in the village or by villagers' teams; land
already owned by peasant collectives of a township (town) shall be operated and
managed by rural collective economic organizations of the township (town).
Article 11 Land owned by peasant collectives shall be registered and recorded
by people's governments at the county level, which shall, upon verification,
issue certificates to confirm the ownership of such land.
Land owned by peasant collectives to be lawfully used for non-agricultural
construction shall be registered and recorded by people's governments at the
county level, which shall, upon verification, issue certificates to confirm the
right to the use of the land for such construction.
State-owned land to be lawfully used by units or individuals shall be
registered and recorded by people's governments at or above the county level,
which shall, upon verification, issue certificates to confirm their right to the
use of such land. The specific organs for registration and issue of certificates
for State-owned land to be used by central State organs shall be determined by
the State Council.
Ownership or the right to the use of forest land or grassland and the right
to the use of water surfaces or tidal flats for aquaculture shall be confirmed
respectively in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Forestry Law, the
Grassland Law and the Fisheries Law of the People's Republic of China.
Article 12 Any change to be lawfully made in land ownership, in the right to
the use of land or in the purpose of use of land shall be registered.
Article 13 The lawfully registered ownership of law and right to the use of
land shall be protected by law and may not be infringed upon by any units or
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