Former Chengdu Land Official Convicted of Corruption Charges

February 10, 2005

According to a Xinhua report, a Chinese court has sentenced Li Dadi, former head of the Chengdu land bureau, to 12 years in prison for bribery. The report characterized the case as one of the top 30 corruption cases of 2004.

State transfers of land create significant incentives for corruption. Because compensation standards for seized land are low, local governments can compensate residents and farmers or provide resettlement housing at nominal cost and then sell land use rights to developers at enormous profits. In some cases, corrupt officials, developers, and demolition companies siphon off funds intended for compensation or resettlement, fail to provide promised resettlement housing, or unfairly reduce compensation amounts through fraudulent appraisals. Such abuses have led to unrest in many cities, prompting the central government to crack down on illegal land deals and related corruption.