China legally defines terrorist acts, organisations

October 30th, 2011 - 12:33 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Oct 29 (IANS) China’s top legislature Saturday adopted an anti-terror bill which makes clear definitions of terrorist acts and organisations, paving the way for the country to crack down further on terrorism.

The document, titled the “Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Regarding Strengthening Anti-terror Efforts,” defines terrorist acts as those which are intended to induce public fear, endanger public security or to coerce state organs or international organisations by means of violence, sabotage, threats or other tactics.

These acts cause, or aim to cause, severe harm to society by creating casualties, bringing about major economic losses, damaging public facilities or disturbing social order, according to the document.

Instigating, funding or assisting with other means the above-mentioned acts are also terrorist acts, it said.

Terrorist organisations are defined as those which are established to conduct terrorist acts, while terrorists are those who organise, plot and conduct terrorist acts as well as those who are members of terrorist groups.

The document provides that the nation’s leading anti-terrorism organ will lead and command the country’s anti-terrorism work.

Under China’s Criminal Law, those found to have organised, led or actively participated in terrorist organisations face three to 10 years in jail. However, this is the first time that concrete definitions of terrorist acts, terrorist organizations or terrorists have been drafted.

In his report on the draft bill to the legislature, Vice Minister of Public Security Yang Huanning said the lack of clear definitions up to this point has had direct and adverse effects on China’s efforts to fight terrorism domestically and internationally in cooperation with other countries.

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