GUANGZHOU, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- About 4,100 hectares (62,000 mu) of land in South China's Guangdong Province was illegally seized in 2010, down 21 percent year on year, the provincial government said Saturday.
Of all, the illegal land grabs involved 600 hectares of farmland, down 55.5 percent from a year ago, the government said in a statement on its official website.
Despite the progress, there were still problems, it said.
For example, some local governments seized land for key railway and road projects before getting approval from higher authorities, according to the statement.
Also some cities were targeted by the Ministry of Land and Resources and the Ministry of Supervision in their crackdown on big land grabs, it added.
Illegal land grabs often are the roots of mass incidents, or protests, in China.
On Sept. 21 and 22, villagers in Wukan, which is administered by the city of Lufeng in Guangdong, protested against village authorities over issues related to land use, financing and the election of local officials, and large-scale protests occurred in the village on Nov. 21 and 22.
The village residents gathered again on Dec. 11 after Xue Jinbo, who was suspected of organizing the demonstration in November, died in police custody.