Practice Relating to Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants
The Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China (1979), as amended in 2002, states:
Any serviceman who, during wartime, cruelly injures innocent residents in an area of military operation or plunders their money or property shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years; if the circumstances are serious, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years but not more than 10 years; if the circumstances are especially serious, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years, life imprisonment or death.
During the Korean War, China confirmed that it was against the bombing of Korean cities and the civilian population by US air forces. China supported North Korea’s solemn protest to the UN Security Council, and requested that the Security Council take immediate measures to stop the “atrocities” committed by the US armed forces, which were “violating international law and against normal standards of human ethics”.