BEIJING, March 10 -- China's chief justice Monday pledged to severely punish terrorists in cases like the Kunming railway station attack, in an outline for the courts' work in 2014.
Chinese courts will work to safeguard national security and social stability and help build up people's sense of security, said Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People's Court (SPC), when delivering a work report of the SPC at the second session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC).
Courts will severely punish offenders who harm national security, especially those who carry out terrorist attacks, pose serious threats to social security and damage military facilities, Zhou told nearly 3,000 national lawmakers, who will deliberate the report.
On the evening of March 1, a group of knife-wielding assailants indiscriminately attacked civilians at a railway station in Kunming, provincial capital of Yunnan, causing 29 deaths and injuring another 143.
Last year, Chinese courts convicted and punished 1.16 million criminals, according to Zhou.
Among them, 325,000 were convicted of felony charges, including murder, robbery, kidnapping, explosion, rape, human trafficking and mafia-style organized crimes.
According to the work report of the Supreme People's Procuratorate delivered by Procurator-General Cao Jianming Monday, about 1.32 million suspects were charged in criminal cases.
The SPC has been cautious about reviewing death sentences and has carefully examined facts, evidence and application of law in these cases.
"We have ensured that the death penalty was imposed on a very limited number of people convicted of extremely serious crimes," he said.
Last year, the courts have targeted serious crimes such as sexual assault of the underage, drunk driving, attacks on medical workers and drug trafficking.
The SPC also issued two judicial explanations on newly emerging crimes, including spreading harmful rumors, intentionally inciting unrest and defamation on the Internet.
Over the past year, the SPC closed about 9,800 cases and local courts closed about 13 million cases.
The number of closed cases by courts of all levels increased from 10.54 million in 2009 to 12.94 million in 2013, an increase of 23 percent, according to Zhou's report.