China shuts downs 66 golf courses

Chinese authorities have shut down 66 illegally built golf courses, according to a statement from the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) on Monday.

The closed courses were found in many provinces, with three of them in Beijing.

The statement did not specify a time frame during which these facilities were closed, but multiple ministries jointly issued a notice in July last year, asking for a crackdown on illegally built golf courses.

Monday’s statement praised local governments for carrying out the orders.

Apart from issues including illegal land occupation, golf courses are widely criticized for massive water consumption and environmental damage due to broad use of pesticides and other chemicals.

China had less than 200 golf courses in 2004. In the same year, the central government announced a halt to new golf projects. However, the number of courses has nevertheless increased to more than 600 over the past decade because local governments viewed them as powerful tourist draws and conducive to urbanization.

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