Newly passed anti-terrorism laws pave way for a safer society in China

Newly passed anti-terrorism laws pave way for a safer society in China
Border police officers conduct an anti-terror drill in Bortala, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, this month.
PHOTO: China Daily/ANN

A series of important laws were passed on Sunday by the National People's Congress Standing Committee that focus on protecting lives and making life easier for citizens.

The approval came after a week of debate and elaboration. The newly passed laws include China's first anti-terrorism legislation, the first anti-domestic violence law, and an amendment to the population and family planning law.

From Friday, all couples will be officially encouraged to have two children, instead of only one for the past 30 years.

The new laws were enacted after major changes were made to their drafts in the debating stage and after elaborations over the past week.

Lawmakers made it clear that the priority of the high-profile anti-terrorism law is to strengthen, rather than compromise, human rights.

It requires all law enforcement departments to respect ethnic people's customs and freedom of religious belief when enforcing anti-terrorism work under the law.

"Discrimination caused by areas, ethnicity or religions must be banned in fighting terrorism in our country," said Li Shouwei, an official with the National People's Congress, at a news conference after the law was passed and issued.

"Our fight against terrorists does not target any religion or region. Instead, we aim to protect every resident's life and property safety, as well as State safety," said Li, deputy head of the criminal law division under the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the NPC Standing Committee.

A ban on the use of surrogate mothers was removed from the draft amendment to the family planning law before the draft received final approval on Sunday.

Lawmakers had disagreements about this article and it was not included in the approved version.

In the domestic violence law, the responsibilities of the government, social organisations, the media and educational institutions are laid out, including reporting on domestic violence and preventing family disputes from escalating.

Lawmakers also passed a State Council proposal granting the council the power to change the method for initial public offerings of shares on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges from an approval-based system to a registration-based one.

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