China's land resources Photo: iStock

The Ministry of Land and Resources said in the latest issue of the party’s journal, Qiushi, that it is “steadfastly promoting” land conservation practices as well as “collective use”of land, signalling an intention to conserve agricultural land, reported.

According to a report by the land ministry, approximately 1.77 million Chinese mu, or 291,584 acres, which were allocated were unused last year, the report said. This means approximately 39.4% of the 2.728 million mu allocated for development last year remained unused. Land allocated for development would mean less land for agricultural use, the report added.

The land ministry said it planned to continue in this direction, stating that the higher unused land ratio —  an increase of 8% from 2015 to 2016 — highlights a more effective control of land use in China, the Yicai report said.

The directive from the ministry to also temporarily stop increasing the amount of new land is causing a reaction from “land-starved” regional governments. Provincial governments such as Shandong and Guangdong have increasingly acted on unused land, the report added.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now.