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Three Unsustainables in China’s Land Use

On June 24, 2011, Xu Shaoshi, the Minister of Land and Resources, told Xinhua that “land use and management profoundly matters as never before for the lifeblood of the country and livelihood of the people; it profoundly influences socioeconomic development as never before.” Xu referred to three “unsustainable” issues: over-consumption and inefficient use of land is unsustainable; large-scale development of reserved land resources is unsustainable; ignoring the equal rights of urban and rural land users is unsustainable. 

With arable land per capita being 40% of the world average, China is facing a grave challenge safeguarding the “red line” of 1.8 billion mu (ed. note: 1 mu equals 666.6666666666666 square meters. One acre comprises about 4,050 square metres) of arable land to achieve a grain self-sufficiency ratio of 95%. Meanwhile, urbanization and land grabs have become a major source of widespread social conflict and unrest.

Source: Xinhua, June 24, 2011