Practice Relating to Rule 156. Definition of War Crimes
China’s Law Governing the Trial of War Criminals (1946) contains a list of offences regarded as war crimes and provides for the punishment of “other acts violating the law or usages of war, or acts whose cruelty or destructiveness exceeds their military necessity, forcing people to do things beyond their obligation, or acts hampering the exercise of legal rights”.
In 1998, during a debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the establishment of an international criminal court, China stated:
As far as war crimes are concerned, China has doubts about the inclusion of war crimes in domestic armed conflicts in the Court’s jurisdiction, because provisions in international law concerning war crimes in such conflicts are still incomplete … The definition of war crimes in domestic armed conflicts in the present [ICC] Statute has far exceeded not only customary international law but also the provisions of [the 1977 Additional Protocol II].