The Law of Land Administration of the People's Republic of China
CHAPTER ONE GENERAL PROVISIONS
CHAPTER TWO OWNERSHIP AND RIGHT OF USE OF LAND
CHAPTER THREE GENERAL PLANS FOR THE UTILIZATION OF LAND
CHAPTER FOUR PROTECTION OF CULTIVATED LAND
CHAPTER FIVE LAND FOR CONSTRUCTION PURPOSES
CHAPTER SIX SUPERVISION AND EXAMINATION
CHAPTER SEVEN LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
CHAPTER EIGHT SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
Article 1 The law is formulated in compliance with the Constitution with a view to strengthening the administration of land, safeguarding the socialist public ownership of land, protecting and developing land resources, ensuring a rational use of and giving a real protection to cultivated land to promote sustainable development of the socialist economy.
Article 2 The People's Republic of China resorts to a socialist public ownership i.e. an ownership by the whole people and ownerships by collectives, of land.
In ownership by the whole people, the State Council is empowered to be on behalf of the State to administer the land owned by the State.
No unit or individual is allowed to occupy, trade or illegally transfer land by other means. Land use right may be transferred by law.
The State may requisition land owned by collectives according to law on public interests.
The State introduces the system of compensated use of land owned by the State except the land has been allocated for use by the State according to law.
Article 3 To cherish and give a rational use to the land as well as to give a true protection to the cultivated land are seen as a basic principle of land use in the country. The people's governments at all levels should manage to make an overall plan for the use of land to strictly administer, protect and develop land resources and stop any illegal occupation of land.
Article 4 The State is to place a strict control on the usages of land.
The State shall compile general plans to set usages of land including those of farm or construction use or unused. A strict control is to place on the turning of land for farm use to that for construction use to control the total amount of land for construction use and exercise a special protection on cultivated land.
"Land for farm use" refers to land directly used for agricultural production, including cultivated land, wooded land, grassland, land for farmland water conservancy and water surfaces for breeding; "land for construction use" refers to land on which buildings and structures are put up, including land for urban and rural housing and public facilities, land for industrial and mining use, land for building communications and water conservancy facilities, land for tourism and land for building military installations. The term "land unused" refers to land other than that for agricultural and construction uses.
Land should be used strictly in line with the purposes of land use defined in the general plan for the utilization of the land whether by units or individuals.
Article 5 The land administrative department of the State Council shall be unifiedly responsible for the administration and supervision of land in the whole country.
The setup and functions of land administrative departments of people's governments at and above the county level shall be decided by the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities under the direct jurisdiction of the central government (hereinafter referred to as "municipalities" for short) according to the relevant provisions of the State Council.
Article 6 Units or individuals shall all be obliged to abide by the laws and regulations concerning land administration and have the right to report or prosecute acts of violating land administration law and regulations.
Article 7 People's governments shall award units or individuals who have made outstanding achievements in protecting and developing land resources, rational utilization of land and in carrying out research in this regard.
CHAPTER TWO OWNERSHIP AND RIGHT OF USE OF LAND
Article 8 Land in urban districts shall be owned by the State.
Land in the rural areas and suburban areas, except otherwise provided for by the State, shall be collectively owned by peasants including land for building houses, land and hills allowed to be retained by peasants.
Article 9 Land owned by the State and land collectively owned by peasants may be allocated to be used by units or individuals according to law. Units or individuals using land shall be responsible for the protection, management and a rational use of the land.
Article 10 In lands collectively owned by peasants those have been allocated to villagers for collective ownership according to law shall be operated and managed by village collective economic organizations or villagers' committee and those have allocated to two or more peasants collective economic organizations of a village, shall be operated and managed jointly by the collective economic organizations of the village or villagers' groups; and those have allocated to township (town) peasant collectives shall be operated and managed by the rural collective economic organizations of the township (town).
Article 11 People's government at the county level shall register and put on record lands collectively owned by peasants and issue certificates to certify the ownership concerned.
People's government at the county level shall register and put on record the use of land collectively owned by peasants for non-agricultural construction and issue certificates to certify the right to use the land for construction purposes.
People's government at the country level shall register and put on record uses of land owned by the State by units or individuals and issue certificates to certify the right of use. The State Council shall designate specific units to register and put on record State-owned land used by central government organs.
Certifications of ownership or use right of wooded land and grassland and the uses or of water surface and beachland for breeding purpose shall be managed according to related provisions of the "Forest Law of the People's Republic of China", the "Grassland Law of the People's Republic of China" and the "Fisheries Law of the People's Republic of China".
Article 12 Changes of owners and usages of land, should go through the land alteration registration procedures.
Article 13 The ownership and use right of land registered according to law shall be protected by law and no unit or individual is eligible to infringe upon it.
Article 14 Land collectively owned by peasant shall be contracted out to members of the collective economic organizations for use in crop farming, forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries production under a term of 30 years. The contractees should sign a contract with the correspondents contractor to define each other's rights and obligations. Peasants who have contracted land for operation are obliged to use the land rationally according to the purposes agreed upon in the contracts. The right of operation of land contracted by peasants shall be protected by law.
Within the validity term of a contract, the adjustment of land contracted by individual contractors should get the consent from over two-thirds majority vote of the villagers' congress or over two-thirds of villagers' representatives and then be submitted to land administrative departments of the township (town) people's government and county level people's government for approval.
Article 15 Land owned by the State may be contracted out to units or individuals for farming, forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries operations. Land collectively owned by peasants may be contracted out to units or individuals who are not belonging to the corresponding collectives for farming, forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries operations.
The contractees and contractors should sign land use contracts to define each other's rights and obligations. The contraced term for operation is to be agreed upon in the land use contracts. Contractors for the land operation are obliged to protect and use the land rationally according to the usages specified in the contracts.
Whereas a land collectively owned by peasant is contracted out for operation to ones not belonging to the corresponding collective organizations, a consent should be got from the over two-thirds majority vote of the villagers' congress or over two-thirds of the villagers' representatives with the resulted contract being submitted to the township (town) people's government for approval.
Article 16 Disputes arising from the ownership or use right of land shall be settled through consultation among parties concerned; should consultation fails, the disputes should be handled by people's governments.
Disputes among units shall be handled by the people's government at and above the county level; disputes among individuals or between individuals and units shall be handled by township level people's government or people's governments at the county level or above.
Whereas parties concerned refuse to accept the decisions by related people's government the dispute may be brought before the people's court within 30 days after the notification on the decision is received.
No party shall change the status quo of the land before the disputes over ownership and use right are settled.
CHAPTER THREE GENERAL PLANS FOR THE UTILIZATION OF LAND
Article 17 People's governments at all levels shall manage to compile general plans for land uses in accordance with the national economic and social development program, requirements of national land consolidation and resources and environmental protection, land supply capacity and the requirements of various construction projects.
The validity term of the general plans for land use shall be determined by the State Council.
Article 18 General plans for land use at a lower level shall be compiled according to the general plans for the utilization of land at the next higher level.
The total amount of land for construction uses in the general plans of land use compiled by local people's governments at all levels shall not exceed the controlled targets set in the general plans for land use at the next higher level and the total amount of cultivated land should not be lower than the controlled targets set in the general plans for land use at the next higher level.
In mapping out the general plans for land use, the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities shall ensure than the total amount of cultivated land under their jurisdiction shall not be reduced.
Article 19 General plans for land use should be mapped out according to the following principles:
1. Strictly protect the basic farmland and control the occupation of agricultural land for nonagricultural purposes.
2. Raise the utilization rate of land.
3. Make an overall plan and arrangements about the use of land in various kinds and various areas.
4. Protect and improve the ecological environment to ensure a sustainable use of land.
5. Keep a balance between cultivated land occupied and cultivated land developed and reclaimed.
Article 20 General plans for land use at the county level should define the areas and purposes of land use.
General plans for the land use at the township (town) level should define the areas for the utilization of land and define the purpose of each tract of land according to the actual conditions for the use of land and make an announcement.