China has seen a continuous decline of drug-related criminal cases since 2015, indicating that such offenses have been effectively controlled under the country's intensified fight against drugs and harsh punishment for those found with, China's top court said.
Last year, Chinese courts concluded 56,000 drug-related criminal cases, down almost 60 percent compared with that in 2015. In that year, the number of such cases was 139,000, reaching a record high, according to a statistic released by the Supreme People's Court on Saturday.
Crimes of trafficking drugs, illegally possessing drugs and accommodating others to use drugs have dropped over the past five years, but those who manufacture new types of drugs have increased, it said.
Drug making in large scales have been controlled under the nation's continuous crackdown, but people producing drugs in small groups or in different areas have been emerging, it said.
It noted that the Golden triangle is still a major source of drugs in China, and those narcotics were found to be mainly brought into the country through international logistics or smuggled by sea.
Heroin, methamphetamine and ketamine were the top three drugs involved in relevant crimes, it said, but adding that offenses related to new types of narcotics, such as synthetic cannabinoids and methcathinone, are rising across the country in recent years.
Additionally, many drug offenders have been found to use the internet and information technologies to commit the drug related crimes, bringing a big challenge to the country's drug control, it added.
In the face of serious and complicated drug-related offenses, Chinese courts have always given harsher punishments to relevant criminals over the past decade, with a felony rate of 23.09 percent, which means a prison term of five or more years, it said.
For example, drug criminals who harmed youngsters and those who were armed to cover their drug offenses or participated in organized or international drug activities were severely punished, it said, adding that convicts should be sentenced to death if their behaviors could be deemed "extremely serious" under Criminal Law.
While threatening criminals by harsher punishment, courts nationwide have also increased fines to the convicts over the past few years in a bid to prevent them from using their financial gains to reoffend, it said.
It added that crimes caused by drug-related offenses, including intentional injury, intentional homicide, robbery and rap were also resolutely combated and harshly penalized, it added.