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China punishes thousands in crackdown on illegal land transfers

[JURIST] China has disciplined nearly 3,000 people and imposed criminal penalties on over 530 more for their involvement in illegal land seizures, an official from the Chinese Law Enforcement and Supervision Bureau under the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources [official website, in Chinese] said Monday. Bureau director Zhang Xinbao said Monday that the punishments were part of a new effort to combat illegal land transfers that have led to unrest across the country. AP has more. Xinhua has local coverage.

Property in China [JURIST news archive] is essentially state-owned, but land use titles do convey their holders a form of ownership; corrupt local officials have long been accused of illegally confiscating property from individuals and transferring title to property developers and industrial parks. In recent months, China has been pushing for stricter enforcement of laws prohibiting illegal land seizure [JURIST report].

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