The Balance of Cultivated Land in China during 1988-1995.
The extent and fate of cultivated land in China has been the subject of intense debate in academia and the cause for major public concerns in China and abroad. This paper discusses statistics recently compiled by China's State Land Administration on conversions from and to cultivated land. To fit within the LUC research framework, the analysis is mainly presented in terms of eight sub-regions in China which have been defined on the basis of geographic/natural conditions, demographic and economic features, and province-level administrative subdivisions. The eight regions form the geographic building blocks in the LUC economic model. The data compilations reported here provide an improved empirical basis for modeling future land-use changes in China. The analysis concludes that net decreases and abandonment of farmland in China during 1988-1995 amount to 2.2 million hectares, i.e., about 1.6 percent of China's cultivated land base estimated to be 131.1 million hectares at the end of 1995. Net changes in used farmland are the result of reported increases of cultivated land amounting to more than 3 million hectares and, concurrently, farmland conversions and abandonment exceeding 5.2 million hectares during the eight-year period.
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