A report released by the National Audit Office (NAO) and submitted in December to the State Council, China’s cabinet, cited [Harbin land resource] officials for illegally issuing fake land-use certificates to developers for a huge area of some 144 square kilometers. The charges which also involve multibillion-yuan loan between four enterprises and several banks has seriously damaged the reputation of the Harbin government.
The cold wind blew through Harbin as the central government in Beijing tightened macroeconomic land-use regulations — and local officials defied the orders. [Full Text]
Also see Caijing’s summary of new land-use regulations emerging from the investigation as well as an editorial from China Newsweek (translated by CDT) naming land reform as the top priority for the Chinese government over the next few years.
[Image: Construction underway in Harbin, by Ginger Tea via Flickr]