China steps up crackdown on cultural relics crimes

Updated: Sep 7, 2022 Xinhua Print
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BEIJING -- A guideline on handling cultural relics crimes was released Monday, addressing illegal excavation of ancient cultural sites and ancient tombs as well as illicit trade of cultural relics.

Jointly issued by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security and the National Cultural Heritage Administration, the guideline further defines the scope of ancient cultural sites and ancient tombs.

It also stipulates that those involved in cases of attempted unlawful excavation of ancient cultural sites and ancient tombs designated as key cultural relic units at or above the provincial level, or cases of attempted theft of immovable cultural relics by destructive means, shall be investigated for criminal responsibility.

The MPS has been working with the NCHA to carry out a nationwide campaign to crack down on such crimes since August 2020. So far, a total of 8,420 suspects involved in 3,950 criminal cases have been nabbed, with 82,800 pieces of cultural relics recovered, of which nearly 6,500 are national treasures.

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