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What Is The History of Criminal Law In China?

Although China has had criminal codes for over two thousand years, a comprehensive set of criminal laws and criminal procedure laws was not enacted until 1979. The 1979 Criminal Law reflected the reality of Chinese society in the post-Cultural Revolution era with little emphasis on private or foreign business activities. With the opening of China to the West, the criminal law and procedure in China has gone through significant change in the past 20 years. While the former criminal laws were rife with political crimes, the new Criminal Law, effective October 1,1997, devotes considerable attention to business crimes that have become a by-product of China's Open Door policy. The Criminal Law, which incorporates the language of over a dozen different circulars and regulations supplementing the 1979 law, specifically lists punishable crimes and is more predictable, at least in written form, than under prior law. The following FAQs address those provisions concerning business and economic crimes, crimes related to securities issues, crimes involving intellectual property, crimes in the workplace, and environmental crimes. The following FAQs also address the anti-corruption provisions of the new Criminal Law, as well as the provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that affect U.S. business interests.

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