Report: China among nations with lowest crime rate

2024-05-21 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China has registered a significant drop in the number of serious violent crimes over the past few years, making it a country with one of the lowest crime rates and strongest sense of security, according to a report.

The Annual Report on Rule of Law in China, which was released on Monday by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Law, said the number of felonies including intentional homicide and gun violence continued to decline last year, while other crimes related to national security or involving drugs were effectively controlled.

The number of people charged with serious violent crimes plummeted to 61,000 in 2023 from 162,000 in 1999, the report said, noting that 9,171 people were prosecuted for offenses related to guns or explosions last year, down 11.09 percent compared with 2022.

At the same time, the percentage of offenders sentenced to three years or less in prison for minor crimes among the total number of offenders rose from 54.4 percent in 1999 to 82.3 percent in 2023, the report said. In China, a prison term of three years or less is generally considered misdemeanor.

"These figures demonstrate that China is one of the countries with the lowest crime rate and the strongest sense of security in the world," said Zhang Zhigang, an associate research fellow at the institute.

"They also mean that China's crime structure is facing a shift toward misdemeanor and its social governance is entering a new stage," he added.

Zhang said the steady drop in the number of serious violent crimes should be attributed to the country's long-term, high-pressure stand on safeguarding national security, with great efforts made to nip all problems in the bud.

For example, Chinese police have been cracking down on public security violations and minor offenses for four consecutive years, in order to prevent misconduct from snowballing into something more serious and to help build a safer environment for the people, he said.

In addition, China intensified its fight against crime in the fields of finance, intellectual property and the internet last year, endeavoring to maintain financial stability, optimize the business environment and purge cyberspace of malpractices.

According to the report, more than 185,000 people were prosecuted for financial crimes in the past five years, up 28.2 percent compared with the previous five years. The number of intellectual property cases concluded by Chinese courts in 2023 was about 490,000, up 1.8 percent year-on-year, it said.

As incidents of cyberbullying, which include abuse, insults, slander and damage to privacy or reputation, have been rampant in recent years, Chinese police, prosecutors and judges have taken actions to maintain social order and offer the public a sense of security, the report said.

Last year, the police solved 110 cases of cyberbullying, the report said, adding that the number of online defamation cases handled in prosecution procedures increased 10.3 percent year-on-year, while the number of convictions surged 102.4 percent compared with 2022.

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