Local governments in China have been cashing in like mad on booming land values — a situation some blame for hindering regulation of the real estate bubble.
The latest example, from CCTV, finds the government in Huaihua, Hunan Province destroying 133 hectares of farmland to make way for commercial properties.
The local government plans to build an Auto 4S car dealership.
Critics have complained that the city isn’t large enough demand to sustain what would be its second large car dealership. But what’s really interesting is that the land project is illegal, according to Global Times.
Chinese land law stipulates that governments must obtain permission before destroying farmland. Although Huaihua obtained permission for an earlier version of the project, which planned to create five small markets, it has not obtained permission for the (more profitable) large car dealership.
Unregulated destruction of farmland flirts with a flood and food crisis. It also goes counter to moves by hedge funds to buy up farmland.