Crime in China

Crime is present in various forms in China. Common forms of crime include corruption, drug trafficking, money laundering, fraud, human trafficking, and counterfeiting.


The People's Republic of China was established in 1949 and from 1949 to 1956, underwent the process of transferring the means of production to common ownership.[1] During this time, the new government worked to decrease the influence of criminal gangs[2] and reduce the prevalence of narcotics[1] and gambling.[3] Efforts to crack down on criminal activity by the government led to a decrease in crime.[3]

Between 1949 and 1956, larceny, arson, rape, murder and robbery were major nonpolitical offenses.[3] The majority of economic crimes were committed by business people who engaged in tax evasion, theft of public property, and bribery.[3]

Government officials also engaged in illegal economic activity, which included improperly taking public property and accepting bribes.[3] Between 1957 and 1965, rural areas experienced little reported crime.[3] Crime rates increased later. The year 1981 represented a peak in reported crime.[4] This may have been correlated to the economic reform in the late 1970s which allowed some elements of a market economy and gave rise to an increase in economic activity.[4] Below is a comparison of reported cases of crime from 1977 to 1988 (excluding economic crimes):[5]

Year 1977[5] 1978[5] 1979[5] 1980[5] 1981[5] 1982[5] 1983[5] 1984[5] 1985[5] 1986[5] 1987[5] 1988[5]
Total number of cases 548,415 535,698 636,222 757,104 890,281 748,476 610,478 514,369 542,005 547,115 570,439 827,706
Incidents of criminal case per 10,000 people 5.8 5.6 6.6 7.7 8.9 7.4 6.0 5.0 5.2 5.2 5.4 7.5

Crime by youth increased rapidly in the 1980s. Crime by youths consisted 60.2% of total crime in 1983, 63.3% in 1984, 71.4% in 1985, 72.4% in 1986, and 74.3% in 1987.[5] The number of fleeing criminals increased over the years.[6] Economic crimes have increased in recent years.[6] From 1982 to 1988, the total number of economic crimes were 218,000.[6]

In 1989, a total of 76,758 cases of economic offenses were registered which included bribery, smuggling and tax evasion.[6] The changes in economic policy had influence in the characteristics of criminality.[7] Since the second Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, crime has increased and diversified.[7]

Crime by type


In 2011, the reported murder rate in China was 1.0 per 100,000 people, with 13,410 murders. The murder rate in 2010 was 1.1.[8]


The PRC is a one-party state ruled by the Communist Party of China,[9] Corruption exists in China.[10][11]The cost thereof to the economy is significant. Between 1978 and 2003, an estimated $50 billion was smuggled out of the country by corrupt officials.[12]

Human trafficking

There are instances of human trafficking reported in China for various purposes.[13] The majority of trafficking in PRC is internal and this domestic trafficking is the most significant human trafficking problem in the country.[13]

Women are lured through false promises of legitimate employment into commercial sexual exploitation in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan.[13] Chinese men are smuggled to countries throughout the world for exploitative labor.[13] Women and children are trafficked into PRC from Mongolia, Burma, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam for forced labor and sexual slavery.[13]

Drug trade

PRC is a major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle.[13] Growing domestic drug abuse is a significant problem in PRC.[13] Available estimates place the domestic spending on illegal drugs to be $17 billion.[14]

Domestic violence

China has a high rate of domestic violence.[15] In 2004, the All-China Women’s Federation compiled survey results to show that thirty percent of the women in China experienced domestic violence within their homes.[16]

The true extent of domestic violence is unclear due to the lack of related law and execution of the law. The Chinese government is in the process of "planning" to pass a "draft of anti-domestic violence law".[15]

Crime dynamics

Illegal guns

From January to July 1996, approximately 300,000 illegal small arms were seized from fourteen provinces of the country.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b Hans-Günther Heiland; Louise I. Shelley; Hisao Katō (1992). Crime and Control in Comparative Perspectives. Walter de Gruyter. p. 241. ISBN 3-11-012614-1.
  2. ^ Wang, Peng (2013). "The increasing threat of Chinese organised crime: national, regional and international perspectives". The RUSI Journal. 158 (4): 6–18. doi:10.1080/03071847.2013.826492.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hans-Günther Heiland; Louise I. Shelley; Hisao Katō (1992). Crime and Control in Comparative Perspectives. Walter de Gruyter. p. 242. ISBN 3-11-012614-1.
  4. ^ a b Borge Bakken (2007). Crime, Punishment, and Policing in China. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 64. ISBN 0-7425-3574-6.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Hans-Günther Heiland; Louise I. Shelley; Hisao Katō (1992). Crime and Control in Comparative Perspectives. Walter de Gruyter. p. 245. ISBN 3-11-012614-1.
  6. ^ a b c d Hans-Günther Heiland; Louise I. Shelley; Hisao Katō (1992). Crime and Control in Comparative Perspectives. Walter de Gruyter. p. 246. ISBN 3-11-012614-1.
  7. ^ a b Hans-Günther Heiland; Louise I. Shelley; Hisao Katō (1992). Crime and Control in Comparative Perspectives. Walter de Gruyter. p. 249. ISBN 3-11-012614-1.
  8. ^ "Global Study on Homicide" (PDF). United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 2013. p. 127. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  9. ^ a b Susan Debra Blum; Lionel M. Jensen (2002). China Off Center: Mapping the Margins of the Middle Kingdom. University of Hawaii Press. p. 29. ISBN 0-8248-2577-2.
  10. ^ Wang, Peng (2013). "The rise of the Red Mafia in China: a case study of organised crime and corruption in Chongqing". Trends in Organized Crime. 16 (1): 49–73. doi:10.1007/s12117-012-9179-8.
  11. ^ Wedeman, Andrew (2013). "The challenge of commercial bribery and organized crime in China". Journal of Contemporary China. 22 (79): 18–34. doi:10.1080/10670564.2012.716942.
  12. ^ "4,000 corrupt officials fled with US$50b". China Daily. 18 August 2004. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g "CIA World Factbook - China". CIA World Factbook.
  14. ^ "International Crime Threat Assessment". Federation of American Scientists. December 2000. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  15. ^ a b "Draft of anti-domestic violence is pushed to Chinese People's council":".
  16. ^ McCue, Margi Laird (2008). Domestic violence: a reference handbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. pp. 100–102.
2007 Chinese slave scandal

The 2007 Chinese slave scandal (simplified Chinese: 山西黑砖窑案; traditional Chinese: 山西黑磚窯案; pinyin: Shānxī Hēi Zhuān Yáo àn; literally: 'Shanxi Black Brick Kiln incident') was a series of forced labour cases in Shanxi, China. Thousands of Chinese people including many children had been forced to work as slaves in illegal brickyards, and were tortured by the owners of the brickyards. As of June 2007, approximately 550 people have been rescued from such situations.

2008 Kunming bus bombings

The 2008 Kunming bus bombings occurred on 21 July 2008 when explosions aboard two public buses in downtown Kunming, the capital of southwest China's Yunnan province, killed two people. The explosions were deliberate, according to police. The attacks occurred amid heightened tensions due to the Beijing Olympics. China later said the explosions were "not an act of terrorism".

Agricultural Bank of China robbery

The Agricultural Bank of China robbery was the embezzlement of nearly 51 million yuan (c.US$6.7 million) from the Handan branch of the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) in Hebei province between March 16 and April 14, 2007. Perpetrated by two vault managers employed at the branch, it is the largest bank robbery in China's history.The idea for the heist had begun when one of the managers, Ren Xiaofeng, stole 200,000 yuan (c.US$26,000) in October 2006 with the complicity of two security guards, Zhao Xuenan and Zhang Qiang. Ren then purchased tickets for the Chinese lottery, with the intention of winning a sufficiently large prize that he could return the missing funds before their absence was noted, and still have money left over for himself. Despite the unfavourable odds Ren was successful, and he was able to return the 200,000 to the vault.Emboldened by his initial success, Ren joined forces with another manager, Ma Xiangjing, to perpetrate the same crime on a far larger scale. During March and April 2007, the two stole 32.96 million yuan (c.US$4.3 million), and spent almost the entire amount—31.25 million—on lottery tickets. This time good fortune was not on their side. In desperation, they stole six cash boxes containing a further 18 million yuan (c.US$2.3 million) on April 14, spending 14 million in a single day in an effort to recover their losses. Despite Handan reporting record lottery ticket sales, the two recouped only 98,000 yuan (c.US$12,700).On April 16, ABC branch managers discovered the missing money and notified the police. With insufficient funds to cover the losses, Ren and Ma bought fake IDs and cars with their meagre winnings, and fled. This prompted an extensive manhunt, with the Public Security Ministry placing the two men on their "Most Wanted" list. Ma was arrested in Beijing on April 18, and Ren was found a day later in Lianyungang, a coastal town in Jiangsu Province.Ren and Ma were charged with embezzlement, while Zhao and Zhang, the security guards, were charged with misappropriating public funds. A fifth man, Song Changhai, was also prosecuted for harbouring Ma while he was on the run. The three accomplices were all given sentences of up to five years in prison, while the two managers were sentenced to death. A landlord, a cab driver, and a car saleswoman in Lianyungang shared a 200,000 yuan reward for assisting police to arrest Ren, while in Handan five employees of the bank were fired. Only 5.5 million yuan was ever recovered by the police, with the remainder squandered by the perpetrators' gambling.Both Ren and Ma were executed in Hebei province on April 1, 2008.

Chenpeng Village Primary School stabbing

On 14 December 2012 between 7 and 8 a.m. local time, a 36-year-old villager identified as Min Yongjun stabbed 24 people, including 23 children and an elderly woman, in a knife attack at Chenpeng Village Primary School (simplified Chinese: 陈棚村完全小学; traditional Chinese: 陳棚村完全小學; pinyin: Chénpéng Cūn Wánquán Xiǎoxué), Wenshu Township, Guangshan County, Henan province, China. The children targeted by the knifeman are thought likely to be between six and eleven years of age. The attack occurred as the children were arriving for classes probably at 8:00 or maybe even 9:00.The incident has followed other school attacks in China since 2010 by mentally disturbed perpetrators involved in personal disputes or unhappy with the rapid changes occurring in Chinese society. Security guards had been posted at schools across China, with all schools to have a security guard by 2013.

Chongqing gang trials

The Chongqing gang trials were a series of triad-busting trials in the city of Chongqing that began in October 2009 and concluded in 2011. Carried out under the auspices of municipal Communist Party chief Bo Xilai and police chief Wang Lijun, a total of 4,781 suspects were arrested, including 19 suspected crime bosses, hundreds of triad members, and a number of allegedly corrupt police, government and Communist party officials, including six district police chiefs and the city's former deputy police commissioner, Wen Qiang. Time described it as "China's trial of the 21st century". The crackdown is believed to be the largest of its kind in the history of the People's Republic of China. Concerns over due process surfaced following the trial, including allegations of torture, forced confessions, and intimidation.The trials earned significant media attention for local party chief Bo Xilai, and its implications partially contributed to Bo's downfall in March 2012. Police chief Wang Lijun was also later convicted of abuse of power and went to prison.

Deng Yujiao incident

The Deng Yujiao incident (Chinese: 邓玉娇事件; pinyin: Dèng Yùjiāo Shìjiàn) occurred on 10 May 2009 at a hotel in Badong County, Hubei province, in the People's Republic of China. Deng Yujiao (邓玉娇), a 21-year-old pedicure worker, tried to rebuff the advances of Deng Guida (邓贵大; no relation), director of the local township business promotions office, who had come to the hotel seeking sexual services. She allegedly stabbed her assailant several times trying to fight him off, resulting in his death. Badong County police subsequently arrested Deng Yujiao, charged her with homicide, and refused to grant her bail.

This case came to national prominence through internet forums and chatrooms, where netizens were enraged by her treatment. The case resonated with the public anger over the corruption and immorality of officials, and garnered over four million forum posts across the country. Chinese authorities attempted to downplay the incident by limiting its presence on Chinese web portals, and a large number of discussion threads were censored. Following a groundswell of public protests and online petitions, prosecutors dropped murder charges, granted her bail, and charged her with a lesser offense of "intentional assault". She was found guilty but did not receive a sentence due to her mental state. The two surviving officials involved in the incident were sacked, also ostensibly in response to public pressure.

Domestic violence in China

Domestic violence in China involves violence or abuse by intimate partners or family members against one another. Intimate partner violence (IPV) by the man is the most common type of domestic violence in China: a 2005 American Journal of Public Health report found that 1 out of 5 Chinese women had experienced physical violence from their partner in the past year. Although China acknowledged that domestic violence was a problem in the 1930s, it has only become a visible issue in the past few decades due to economic and social changes in the 1980s.Domestic violence is legally defined in Article 2 of the Domestic Violence Law of 2015 as "physical, psychological or other infractions between family members effected through the use of methods such as beatings, restraints, maiming, restrictions on physical liberty as well as recurrent verbal abuse or intimidation." Although the legal definition is confined to family members, domestic violence can also occur between unmarried, LGBT, and other domestic couples.

Female infanticide in China

The People's Republic of China and its predecessors have a history of female infanticide spanning 2000 years. Worldwide, infanticide has been practiced since antiquity for the purpose of population control. It is an unsanctioned method of family planning that has been condoned for centuries in the area until recent times. The phenomenon is also referred to as female gendercide; however, the word gendercide can be used for both sexes.

Gun control in China

In China, gun ownership is subject to strict regulation. Generally, private citizens are not allowed to possess firearms.

Hanlong Group

Hanlong Group (汉龙集团) is a Chinese conglomerate with holdings in solar energy, communications, chemicals, mineral exploration, and other industries.

Sichuan Hongda (四川宏達; SSE: 600331) is a mining company and subsidiary of Hanlong listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.In 2011, Hongda announced a $3 billion investment in coal and iron mining Tanzania, making it the biggest investor in East Africa. Under the deal, a sub-project is to build a major coal plant and supply chain to provide an ample supply of electricity in Tanzania, removing the one of the biggest roadblocks to manufacturing foreign investment. To build Tanzanian power infrastructure, Hongda formed a joint venture with the government of Tanzania named Tanzania China International Mineral Resources (TCIMR). The project plan calls for the building of the Mchuchuma and Katewaka coal to electricity facility, which is expected to be the top capacity plant in the country, producing 600MW at full capacity. The facility is expected to start producing 300MW by 2015.Between 2011 and 2013 Hanlong conducted a takeover attempt for Sundance Resources of Australia. However, the deal fell through when Hanlong was unable to meet its funding obligations.

Hu Wanlin

Hu Wanlin (Chinese: 胡万林, born 1949, Mianyang, China) was suspected of killing 146 people.

Illegal drug trade in China

The illegal drug trade in China is influenced by factors such as history, location, size, population, and current economic conditions. China has one-fifth of the world's population and a large and expanding economy while Opium has played an important role in the country's history since before the First and Second Opium Wars in the mid-19th century. China's large land mass, close proximity to the Golden Triangle, Golden Crescent, and numerous coastal cities with large and modern port facilities make it an attractive transit center for drug traffickers.

China's status in drug trafficking has changed significantly since the 1980s, when the country for the first time opened its borders to trade and tourism after 40 years of relative isolation. As trade with Southeast Asia and elsewhere increased, so did the flow of illicit drugs and precursor chemicals from, into, and through China.

Kidnapping in China

Kidnapping in China has its history since the ancient times. Such issues have been heavily studied and discussed by investigators and researchers.

Since at least the 1980s, kidnapping has become a bigger issue than ever in the country. Since the 1990s, tougher laws against the kidnapping have been established. Chinese authorities have also investigated in this regard.

Li Gang incident

The Li Gang incident occurred on the evening of October 16, 2010, inside Hebei University in Baoding in Hebei province of China, when a black Volkswagen Magotan traveling down a narrow lane hit two university students. One of them, 20-year-old Chen Xiaofeng (陈晓凤), a student from Shijiazhuang at the Electronic Information Engineering College died later in the hospital. The other victim, Zhang Jingjing (张晶晶), aged 19, remained in a stable condition, albeit suffering from a fractured left leg.The drunk driver, 22-year-old Li Qiming (李启铭), tried to escape the scene and continued driving to the female dormitory to drop off his girlfriend. When arrested by security guards, convinced his father's position would give him immunity, he shouted out, "Go ahead, sue me if you dare. My dad is Li Gang!" (有本事你们告去,我爸是李刚)

After outrage erupted on Chinese internet forums, a doxing search revealed that Li Gang was the deputy director of the local public security bureau. Four days after the incident, an online poetry contest invited entrants to incorporate the sentence "My father is Li Gang" (我爸是李刚, pinyin: Wǒ bà shì Lǐ Gāng) into classical Chinese poems. The contest was created by a female blogger in northern China nicknamed Piggy Feet Beta on MOP, a popular Chinese bulletin board system. It received more than 6,000 submissions. The phrase has since become a popular catchphrase and internet meme within China, frequently seen on various forums and message boards, and in similar competitions using ad slogans and song lyrics, and used ironically in conversation by speakers trying to avoid responsibility.

Communist Party officials tried at first to suppress reports of the incident, but their efforts backfired. During an interview with China Central Television on 21 October, Li Gang wept in an apology; then on 22 October, a video showing Li Qiming's apology was released. The apology was rejected by the victims' families, the elder brother of Chen Xiaofeng believing the apology to be a political stunt. The People's Daily, in an editorial published on October 26, urged authorities to take the affair into their own hands and shed light on the matter.On October 29, the South China Morning Post and other sources revealed that a directive from the Central Propaganda Department, issued on October 28, required that there be "no more hype regarding the disturbance over traffic at Hebei University," and ordered Chinese newspapers to recall their reporters from Baoding.On November 1, Zhang Kai, the attorney for the relatives of Chen Xiaofeng, was abruptly asked to terminate his representation in the case, after the law firm was cautioned by the Beijing Bureau of Justice, according to a blog by Wang Keqin, an influential Chinese muckraking reporter,

blogger and professor at Peking University. That same day, Director Liu of Baoding Traffic Police Division and some clerks from Wangdu County proposed payments to the relatives of Chen Xiaofeng to settle the case.On November 4, the Central Propaganda Department banned news of an interview by Phoenix Television with Ms. Chen’s brother, Chen Lin, in which he was critical of the government.

Then on November 9, Internet discussion of the case suddenly stopped. Local students and activists such as Ai Weiwei, however, continued to speak out.In January 2011, Li Qiming was arrested. He was sentenced to six years in jail and ordered to pay the equivalent of $69,900 in compensation to the family of Chen Xiaofeng. Li was also ordered to pay $13,800 to the injured woman.

Qiandao Lake incident

The Qiandao Lake incident (simplified Chinese: 千岛湖事件; traditional Chinese: 千島湖事件; pinyin: Qiāndǎo hú shìjiàn) refers to the 1994 kidnap and murder of Taiwanese tourists and local guides and staff in the Qiandao Lake scenic area, in Zhejiang, People's Republic of China ("China"). Insensitive treatment by the local government and police force after the event, including censoring information and unprofessional criminal investigation procedures, led to a public backlash in Taiwan ("Republic of China") against the Chinese government. This led to increased support in Taiwan for independence.

Rape in China

In 2007, the U.S. Department of State reported 31,833 rapes in China, but no similar report by the Chinese government has been made available.Same-sex sexual assault between males was made illegal in late 2015.


Shanzhai (Chinese: 山寨; pinyin: shānzhài; Jyutping: saan1 zaai6) refers to counterfeit consumer goods, including imitation and trademark infringing brands and/or particularly electronics, in China. Literally "mountain village" or "mountain stronghold", the term refers to the mountain stockades of regional warlords or bandits, far away from official control. "Shanzhai" can also be stretched to refer to people who are lookalikes, low-quality or improved goods, as well as things done in parody.

Triad (organized crime)

A triad is one of many branches of Chinese transnational organized crime syndicates based in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan and in countries with significant Chinese populations, such as the United States, Canada, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Spain, South Africa, Australia, Brazil and New Zealand.

The Hong Kong triad is distinct from mainland Chinese criminal organizations. In ancient China, the triad was one of three major secret societies. It established branches in Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Chinese communities overseas. Known as "mainland Chinese criminal organizations", they are of two major types: dark forces (loosely-organized groups) and black societies (more-mature criminal organizations). Two features which distinguish a black society from a dark force are the ability to achieve illegal control over local markets, and receiving police protection. The Hong Kong triad refers to traditional criminal organizations operating in (or originating from) Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and south-east Asian countries and regions, while organized-crime groups in mainland China are known as "mainland Chinese criminal groups".

Yilishen Tianxi Group

The Yilishen Tianxi Group (Chinese: 蚁力神天玺集团; pinyin: Yǐ Lì Shén Tiān Xǐ Jí Tuán) was a Chinese company established in 1999 which sold traditional Chinese medicine products made from ants. More than one million people invested money in the company, purchasing and raising boxes of ants with the promise that they could sell the ants back for a profit, before it was exposed as a ponzi scheme in 2007.

Crime in Asia
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