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Laws, Policies, & Guidelines

Land Administration Law of the People's Republic of China

Scope of Application

Legal requirements for land administrative departments, local governments, and the Chinese Government to administer and supervise the use of all land and for developers and contractors seeking to acquire land.


Offers legal measures to safeguard public ownership, protect and develop productive land and related resources, and ensure the appropriate use of land.

General Key Points

Developers, Contractors, and the Affected People must:

  • Abide by land administration laws and regulations.
  • Retain the right to report or prosecute violations of such laws and regulations.


Local Governments must:

  • Control aggregate land for construction purposes. 
  • Consider the original purpose of the land in order to determine appropriate compensation prior to land acquisition.


The Chinese Government should:

  • Encourage the development of land that has not been used for either agriculture or construction while protecting the environment and preventing water loss, soil erosion, and desertification.


The State Council must:

  • Approve the use of productive land for construction. 
Key Points on Stakeholder Engagement

Land Administrative Departments must:

  • Work with statistical departments to carry out land surveys and use the results of these surveys to grade each plot of land. Landowners or users must provide the necessary data and materials.
  • Regularly release land data.


Developers and Contractors must: 

  • Reclaim the same amount of productive land of comparable quality as the land that has been acquired or pay land reclamation fees. 
  • Pay a fee if project implementation fails to begin a year after acquisition.


The Chinese Government must:

  • Administer a system of compensation for productive land that will be used for construction projects.
  • Revoke developers’ and contractors' right to use the land if construction has not begun two years after acquisition.
  • If farmer collectives previously owned this land, it must be returned to these organizations.
Applies to
August 2004
Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
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