China president pushes for safeguard of arable land
President Hu Jintao said on Tuesday that China should implement a land-saving strategy and continue to adopt strict regulations regarding the protection of arable land.
Hu made the remarks while speaking at a land management workshop held for the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
Hu called for more frugal use of land for new construction projects, stating that developers should refrain from using arable land for new projects.
Hu said that while China is large in terms of both its area and population, the amount of available arable land it possesses is scarce.
"While we are satisfying our needs for development, we should also take the development of future generations into consideration," he said.
"This reflects China's scientific outlook on development and is a strategic measure to ensure food security," he said.
Hu said that the nation should speed up its reclamation of rural land for growing crops. He also called for less reliance on land resources for economic growth, adding that land should be guaranteed for the nation's affordable housing construction efforts.
The government also needs to standardize its management of home demolitions and protect farmers' rights and interests, Hu said.
To ensure grain security, China sets a "red line" to guarantee its arable land never shrinks to less than 1.8 billion mu (120 million hectares). But the 1.3-billion-people nation is facing growing challenges due to rapid urbanization and massive infrastructural construction.
Data from the Ministry of Land and Resources shows the country is already edging dangerously close to its "red line," with just 1.826 billion mu available as of the end of 2009.