|The first plenary meeting of the 23rd session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee is held in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 24, 2011. Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, presided over the meeting. (Xinhua/Fan Rujun)
BEIJING, Oct. 24 (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.