Practice Relating to Rule 151. Individual Responsibility
Section A. Individual criminal responsibility
China’s Law Governing the Trial of War Criminals (1946) contains a list of punishable offences such as war crimes.
According to the Report on the Practice of China, which refers to a statement made in 1955 by a representative of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 1954, China remitted 410 Japanese military personnel who had committed various crimes during the Japanese invasion of China and the Chinese war of liberation. The report notes that this clearly indicates that the Chinese Government does not make a distinction between international armed conflicts and internal armed conflicts, and that China “consistently holds that foreigners also shall take criminal responsibility for committing war crimes in internal armed conflicts”.
In 1983, during a debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the ILC Draft Code of Offences against the Peace and Security of Mankind, China stated: “Such crimes could be committed by both individuals and States and the responsibility of either would vary only as to its character or extent.”