China / Society

Pressure mounts over arable land resources

( Updated: 2012-12-25 19:18

China's land watchdog is facing increasing pressure over protecting the country's fragile arable land and mineral resources, a senior official said.

Minister of Land and Resources Xu Shaoshi told a session of the nation's top legislative body in Beijing on Tuesday there is still a gap between land supply and demand due to rapid economic development, leading to disputes over rural land seizures.

"These problems are partially caused by the flawed land-market mechanism and delayed reform," Xu said.

Revenue from land transfer fees grew from more than 994 billion yuan ($158 billion) in 2008 to 3.3 trillion yuan in 2011.

China set a bottom line of 1.8 billion mu (120 million hectares) of arable land to feed its population.

By the end of 2011, the country has nearly 1.825 billion mu, according to statistics from the ministry.

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