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Land use policy in China: Introduction

Long, Hualou
Land use policy 2014 v.40 pp. 1-5
engineering, land policy, land use change, topographic slope, China
This themed issue of Land Use Policy builds mainly on papers presented at an international conference on ‘Land Use Issues and Policy in China under Rapid Rural and Urban Transformation’, convened by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, in October 2012. The conference set out to share and promote new scientific findings from a range of disciplines that advance research on land use policy in China. The contributions to this themed issue provide conceptual–theoretical and empirical takes on the topic, around four main areas of interest to both researchers and policymakers: nation-wide land use issues, the Sloping Land Conversion Program, land engineering and land use, and land use transitions. Various land use issues have been associated with rapid urban–rural transformations in China, giving rise to formulation of new policies directly affecting land use. However, these have contributed to new land use problems due to the nature of the policies and the difficulties in policy implementation constrained by the special ‘dual-track’ structure of urban–rural development in China. In view of this, this themed edition makes a compelling call for more systematic research into the making and implementation of China's land use policy. It also emphasizes the challenges for further research on land use policy in China.