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China to legally define terrorist activities

November 26, 2011

October 24th, 2011 | Xinhua
China’s legislature on Monday began reading an anti-terrorism draft bill
which is expected to pave the way for further crackdowns on terrorism by
defining terrorist acts and organizations.

The bill was submitted to the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee
of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, for
review.

Under China’s Criminal Law, those found to have organized, led or actively
participated in terrorist organizations will face three to 10 years of
imprisonment. But the law currently gives no concrete definitions of
terrorist acts, terrorist organizations or terrorists.

In his report on the bill to the legislature, Vice Minister of Public
Security Yang Huanning said the lack of clear definitions under current
law have had direct, adverse effects on China’s effort to fight terrorism
and bring terrorism-related assets under control, as well as to
participate in international cooperation in this regard.

“China is faced with the real threat of terrorist activities, and the
struggle with terrorism is long-term, complicated and acute,” said Yang.

It is imperative to promote relevant legislation in order to facilitate
anti-terrorism operations and safeguard national security and social
stability, he added.

A CLEARER DEFINITION

In the draft bill, terrorist acts are defined as those acts which are
intended to induce public fear or to coerce state organs or international
organizations by means of violence, sabotage, threats or other tactics.

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

Instigating, funding or assisting with other means are also terrorist
acts, according to the draft bill.

Terrorist organizations are defined in the draft bill as those which are
established to conduct terrorist acts, while terrorists are those who
organize, plot and conduct terrorist acts as well as those who are members
of terrorist groups.

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

The People’s Liberation Army, the People’s Armed Police Force and military
units will prevent and fight terrorist acts in accordance with laws,
administrative regulations, military statutes and the orders of the State
Council and the Central Military Commission, according to the draft.

People’s courts, people’s procuratorates, and state organs of public
security, national security and judicial administration should make
closely-coordinated efforts in fighting terrorism.

Furthermore, the list of terrorist organizations and terrorists will be
made and edited by the nation’s leading anti-terrorism organ, and the list
will be published by public security authorities under the State Council,
according to the draft bill.

FREEZING TERRORISTS’ ASSETS

The draft bill provides that the funds and assets of terrorist
organizations and terrorists will be frozen when their names are published
by public security authorities.

Public security authorities should issue the order to freeze the funds and
assets of terrorist organizations and terrorists while publishing their
lists of names.

Financial institutions and relevant non-financial institutions should
immediately freeze funds and assets found to belong to terrorist
organizations and terrorists, and report to relevant government
organizations, according to the draft.

Furthermore, the draft provides that methods for verifying the lists of
names of terrorist organizations and terrorists will be formulated by the
State Council, and the procedure for freezing terrorism-related funds and
assets will be drawn up by anti-money-laundering authorities under the
State Council together with public security authorities and national
security departments.

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