China passes anti-terrorism law
Dec 28, Beijing: Aiming to combat growing terror threats, China has passed controversial new anti-terrorism laws.
The new laws, passed on Sunday by China's legislature, create a new anti-terror agency and security forces with significant powers.
Critics have said that the laws are too broad and can be used against dissidents and religious minorities.
China has blamed Muslim Uighur separatists from Xinjiang for several public attacks in recent years, news reports said.
According to BBC news reports, under the new law, China will have a single counter-terrorism body which the country's public security ministry says "will be in charge of identifying terrorist activities and personnel, and coordinate nationwide anti-terrorist work".
The official Chinese media cited a knife attack which left 29 people dead at a train station in 2014 as giving greater urgency to the the legislation.
The attack by four assailants was widely attributed to a Uighur group, the mainly-Muslim minority in the western Xinjiang province.
The law will also give the authorities greater rights to monitor private communications. Just like in other countries, the government says this will not infringe liberty.
The Oslo Times