China has seen a steady decline in the number of gun and explosives-related crimes, putting it on the list of countries with the fewest such crimes in the world, the Ministry of Public Security announced on Jan 8 at a news briefing.
From January to November, the country saw 42 gun crimes and 39 explosives-related crimes, down year-on-year by roughly one-third, the ministry said.
A zero-tolerance policy against such crimes will be maintained, said Li Jingsheng, director of the ministry’s bureau of security administration.
Focusing on the production, smuggling and online sales of guns and explosives, the ministry will continue to work closely with other departments and take strict measures to ensure a full and profound crackdown on such crimes, he said.
“We will continue to take systematic steps to curb the spread of guns and explosives,” he said, adding that the authorities will increase their efforts to supervise border and online transactions, as well as mining operations that used explosives.
The ministry will also strengthen controls on raw materials and apply information technology in an effort to improve safety controls at the source to nip potential risks in the bud, he said.
A joint accountability mechanism has been established to further clarify the responsibilities of local authorities, companies and central departments, he added.
The ministry, together with 23 other departments, launched a nationwide campaign in February that will last until December this year, as one of a series of attempts to reduce security threats from firearms and ammunition. Individuals may not own firearms in China.
Li said the campaign has yielded fruit, with more than 37,000 cases involving guns and explosives solved and 416 gangs and 599 criminal operations busted. The police have also arrested about 43,000 suspects and confiscated more than 146,000 guns and a large quantity of dynamite and detonators.
The authorities have also examined companies and individuals that manufacture or sell hazardous chemicals, mine explosives and fireworks to root out safety hazards, and have formulated industry standards to better regulate them, he said.
The Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Supreme People’s Court and the ministry have jointly issued policies urging suspects to surrender voluntarily and encouraging members of the public to report suspicious activities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also initiated communications with other countries to strengthen international law enforcement cooperation.
“The public security bodies will always put a priority on safeguarding people’s lives and property, as well as on social stability,” Li said.