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China Daily Global / 2020-06 / 30 / Page011

Amendment improves rule of law

China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-06-30 00:00

Amending the Criminal Law is always necessary to keep the legal net up to date to protect the public.

A new draft amendment to the country's Criminal Law, the 11th of its kind, which Chinese lawmakers started to deliberate on Sunday, was for this purpose.

The new amendment covers the dangerous, potentially lethal behavior of objects being thrown or falling from high-rise apartment buildings, as there have been cases in which objects falling or thrown from a high-rise building have seriously injured, even killed people in recent years. Despite the legal documents by the Supreme People's Court about how such cases should be prosecuted, there is no specific criminal provision to refer to when such cases are heard.

In most cases, the perpetrators have been prosecuted for their dangerous behavior. But it is not a legal provision.

The same is true for those who grab the steering wheel of a bus when bickering or quarreling with the driver. Such behavior does pose a serious threat to the safety of other passengers and pedestrians as it has led to fatal accidents.

The new amendment has detailed provisions about what penalties should be meted out for perpetrators who have committed such crimes. They will face a year in prison even if their behavior does not have serious consequences.

What is particularly noteworthy is the new provision about the crime of impairing infectious disease prevention and control. Refusing to follow the lawful measures imposed by the government or shipping contaminated objects in epidemic-hit areas are criminal acts, according to the new provision.

This new article in the Criminal Law will make it easier for governments at all levels, even community managements, to implement strict prevention and control measures to cut off channels for the transmission of viruses or other infectious diseases.

Meanwhile, the new amendment proposes that those who illegally raise funds by taking in deposits from residents face a maximum prison term of 15 years.

Corporate espionage has been added to the amendment for the first time, so as to prevent business secrets from being stolen or spied into or obtained through other illegal means.

All these fence-mending criminal law provisions are responses to what many have been concerned about in their daily lives either as individuals or business entities.

Along with the Civil Code that was adopted at the Third Plenary Session of the National People's Congress late last month, the latest amendments to the Criminal Law will further improve the quality of China's rule of law.

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