Article 38 The State encourages units and individuals to develop unused land
in accordance with the overall plans for land utilization, on condition that the
ecological environment is protected and improved and soil erosion and
desertification prevented. Priority shall be given to the development of such
land for agricultural purposes where conditions permit.
The State protects the lawful rights and interests of such developers in
accordance with law.
Article 39 Unused lands shall be reclaimed on the basis of scientific
confirmation and evaluation, within the reclaimable area designated as such in
an overall plan for land utilization and with lawful approval. It is forbidden
to reclaim cultivated land by destroying forests or grasslands, to reclaim land
from lakes and to encroach on tidal-flat areas of rivers.
Where land is reclaimed from forests, grasslands or lakes at the expense of
the ecological environment, it shall gradually be returned to forests,
grasslands and lakes according to plan.
Article 40 Units or individuals that wish to develop State-owned barren
hills, wastelands or waste tidal flats, the land-use right of which is not yet
established, for crop cultivation, forestry, animal husbandry or fishery shall
be subject to lawful approval by people's governments at or above the county
level, which may decide that such land be used by the said units or individuals
for a long time.
Article 41 The State encourages land revitalization. County and township
(town) people's governments shall make arrangements for rural collective
economic organizations to conduct, in accordance with overall plans for land
utilization, all-round improvement of the fields, water conservancy, roads and
forests and development of the villages in order to improve the quality of the
cultivated land, increase the efficient area of cultivated land and better the
conditions of agricultural production and the ecological environment.
Local people's governments at all levels shall take measures to transform the
medium-and low-yield fields and improve idle and waste land.
Article 42 Land users that cause damage to land as a result of digging,
subsiding or crumbling under heavy weight shall be responsible for recultivating
the land in accordance with the relevant regulations of the State. Where
conditions do not permit such recultivation or the land recultivated does not
meet the requirements, the user shall pay charges for recultivation, which shall
exclusively be used for the purpose. The land recultivated shall first be used
Chapter V Land to Be Used for Construction
Article 43 All units and individuals that need land for construction purposes
shall, in accordance with law, apply for the use of State-owned land, with the
exception of the ones that have lawfully obtained approval of using the land
owned by peasant collectives of their own collective economic organizations to
build township or town enterprises or to build houses for villagers and the ones
that have lawfully obtained approval of using the land owned by peasant
collectives to build public utilities or public welfare undertakings of a
township (town) or village.
"The State-owned land" mentioned in the preceding paragraph includes land
owned by the State and land originally owned by peasant collectives but
requisitioned by the State.
Article 44 Where land for agriculture is to be used for construction
purposes, the formalities of examination and approval shall be gone through for
the conversion of use.
Where land for agriculture is to be converted to land for the construction of
road, pipeline or large infrastructure projects, for which approval has been
obtained from people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and
municipalities directly under the Central Government, or for the construction of
projects, for which approval has been obtained from the State Council, the
conversion shall be subject to approval by the State Council.
Where land for agriculture is to be converted to land for construction of
projects in different periods in order to carry out the overall plan for land
utilization within the limits of the amount of land fixed in the plan for the
construction of cities, villages or towns, the conversion of use of land shall,
in accordance with the annual plan for land utilization, be subject to approval
in batches by the organ that originally approved the overall plan for land
utilization. Approval for the use of land for construction of specific projects
within the limits of the amount of land for agriculture, conversion of the use
of which has been approved, may be obtained from people's governments of cities
Where land for agriculture is to be converted to land for construction
projects other than what is provided for in the second and third paragraphs of
this Article, the conversion shall be subject to approval by people's
governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under
the Central Government.
Article 45 Approval shall be obtained from the State Council for requisition
of the following land:
(1) capital farm land;
(2) cultivated land, not included in capital farm land, that exceeds 35
(3) other land that exceeds 70 hectares.
Requisition of land other than that provided for in the preceding paragraph
shall be subject to approval of the people's governments of provinces,
autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government and
be submitted to the State Council for the record.
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