Beijing, China: Chinese authorities have released information on the illegal construction of five golf courses as the country tries to protect its farmland.
According to a report by Xinhua, China’s official news agency, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Land and Resources said in a joint announcement that the golf courses in Beijing, Yunnan Province, Liaoning Province and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region were illegally built on farmland.
Facilities on these courses have been demolished and their owners fined heavily, according to the announcement.
The announcement told local authorities to fully implement regulations and severely punish violators.
Although the world’s most populous country is now home to about 580 golf courses with another 45 under construction, China prohibited building golf courses on arable land in May 1997 and has published at least 12 regulations since then.
Golf has gained popularity in China, especially in business circles. As a result, a large number of courses were built in a short period of time. But many of them were on arable land.