China to establish land registration system by 2016

by Reuters
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 01:33 GMT

Villagers pray to Buddha for peace and the return of their farmland in Shangpu in China's southern Guangdong province March 11, 2013, after a violent crackdown by riot police on Sunday that injured dozens of villagers, including a number of elderly villagers. Chinese security forces fired tear gas and beat protesters in a village in southern China on Sunday to quell a grassroots protest movement over a land dispute, residents said. REUTERS/James Pomfret

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SHANGHAI, April 22 (Reuters) - China plans to establish a land registration system by 2016 and make it operational within two years, the country's Ministry of Land and Resources said, part of an effort by Beijing to make the real estate market more transparent.

Chinese regulators have been struggling to get a grip on real estate speculation, in particular by corrupt officials and companies under their control, that can drive up prices in the housing market.

If those bets turn sour, as they have begun to do in third- and fourth-tier cities, economists fear the taxpayer will ultimately be on the hook for the bad debts incurred.

(Reporting by Pete Sweeney; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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