BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature on Sunday adopted the country's first counter-terrorism law in the latest attempt to address terrorism at home and help maintain world security.
Lawmakers approved the legislation Sunday afternoon at the end of a week-long bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.
At a press conference held on Sunday, An Weixing, an official with the public security ministry, at Sunday's press conference, said China is facing rising threats of terrorism.
"Terrorist attacks have caused heavy losses of people's lives and properties, posing a serious threat to our security, stability, economic development and ethnic unity," An said.
The new law, which will enter into force in January next year, will provide legal support to the country's counter-terrorism activities as well as collaboration with the international society, he said.
The much anticipated couter-terrorism law proposed a national leading organ for counter-terrorism work, which will be in charge of identifying terrorist activities and personnel, and coordinate nationwide anti-terrorist work.
The state will provide necessary financial support for key regions listed in the country's counter-terrorist plan, whereas professional anti-terrorist forces will be established by public security, national security authorities as well as armed forces.
A national intelligence center will be established to coordinate inter-departmental and trans-regional efforts on counter-terrorism intelligence and information.
The term "terrorism" is defined as any proposition or activity -- that, by means of violence, sabotage or threat, generates social panic, undermines public security, infringes on personal and property rights, and menaces government organs and international organizations -- with the aim to realize certain political and ideological purposes.
A statement from NPC Standing Committee earlier this week said the new definition had been inspired by a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) counter-terrorism convention, and the UN's Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism.
A previous draft of the law, submitted in February, did not cover personal and property rights or political and ideological purposes.
"[China] opposes all extremism that seeks to instigate hatred, incite discrimination and advocate violence by distorting religious doctrines and other means, and acts to eradicate the ideological basis for terrorism," the approved bill read.
The new law comes at a delicate time for China and for the world at large - terror attacks in Paris, the bombing of a Russian passenger jet over Egypt, and the brutal killings of hostages committed by Islamic State (IS) extremist group are alerting the world about an ever-growing threat of terrorism.
According to China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang, the new law is an important part for establishing systemic rules for national security.
The law establishes basic principles for counter-terrorism work and strengthens measures of prevention, handling, punishment as well as international cooperation, he said.