From excessive to illegal land reclamation: a case study in China

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    Land reclamation has been a common way for states to create new land from oceans and seas for commercial, recreational, and military uses. While this practice has been well regulated and monitored in most countries, illegal land reclamation in developing countries has often been a neglected maritime issue, where developers often conduct unauthorised projects to achieve their desired profits from the creation of new land. This study examines unauthorised land reclamation in China. The author argues that limitations in the legal framework and discrepancies in political interests between national and local governments have caused policies addressing illegal reclamation to be ineffective. Also, as a maritime environmental crime, the Chinese government has regarded illegal reclamation as only representing unauthorised occupation of the sea, but this neglects its environmental impacts. Fortunately, since 2016, China has introduced more policies to address this issue, which have been effective in Hainan and Liaoning, two coastal provinces where illegal reclamation has been especially serious. The study concludes with a look at the policy implications involved in mitigating unauthorised land reclamation in developing economies, in addition to other concerns raised by illegal land reclamation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMaritime Crime and Policing
    Editors Yarin Eski and Martin Wright
    Place of PublicationLondon
    ISBN (Print)78-1-003-18238-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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