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Thursday 10 December 2015

Writing – research - China

In much of my fiction set abroad, I tend to use places I’ve visited; not exclusively, simply because of course I haven’t earned enough royalties from my writing to afford it; besides, the world’s a big place.

The closest I’ve been to China is Hong Kong, visiting there while in the Royal Navy in 1968, long before it was handed over by the UK in 1997. It’s a fascinating country, with a rich history. Yes, there are human rights issues and a whole lot besides, but we in the West would be foolish to ignore this powerhouse.

Foolishly – or bravely – it depends on your point of view, I decided that in my third book in the ‘Avenging Cat’ series, Cataclysm, Catherine Vibrissae would go to Shanghai to face down her arch foe, Loup Malefice, since that’s where he was at the end of the second book, Catacomb.
Shanghai skyline - Wikipedia commons

Now, if you’re familiar with Cat, as opposed to having a familiar that is a cat, then you’ll know that she tends to bend the law in her obsessive vendetta against Malefice and his company Cerberus. However, her law ‘bending’ could land her in very hot water in China, I found. The list of capital offences (death penalty imposed) is quite lengthy, and probably has a serious deterrent effect on villainous goings-on.

In the extensive list of capital crimes, seven figure in Cataclysm – not all perpetrated by Cat, I might add!

For interest, here’s the list (thanks to Wikipedia), with the Cataclysm offences in bold:

Crimes against National Security

  1. Treason
  2. Separatism
  3. Armed rebellion, rioting
  4. Collaborating with the enemy
  5. Spying or espionage
  6. Selling state secrets
  7. Providing material support to the enemy

Crimes against Public Security

  1. Arson
  2. Flooding (e.g., breaching dams, dikes or waterways)
  3. Bombing
  4. Spreading poisons
  5. Spreading hazardous substances (e.g., radioactive, toxic, pathogenic)
  6. Seriously endangering public safety, broadly construed
  7. Sabotaging electricity
  8. Sabotaging gas, fuel, petroleum, or other flammables or explosives
  9. Hijacking aircraft
  10. Illegal possession, transport, smuggling, or selling of explosives or firearms
  11. Trafficking or smuggling nuclear materials
  12. Illegally manufacturing, selling, transporting or storing hazardous materials
  13. Theft of explosives or other dangerous material
  14. Theft of firearms, ammunition or other dangerous material

Economic crimes

  1. Production or sale of counterfeit medicine
  2. Production or sale of hazardous food products
  3. Smuggling weapons or ammunition
  4. Smuggling nuclear material
  5. Smuggling counterfeit money
  6. Producing counterfeit money
  7. Fraud

Crimes against the person

  1. Intentional homicide
  2. Intentional assault
  3. Rape
  4. Kidnapping
  5. Human trafficking

Crimes against property

  1. Robbery

Crimes against public order

  1. Prison escape, jailbreaking
  2. Raiding a prison
  3. Smuggling, dealing, transporting or manufacturing drugs
  4. Organized prostitution
  5. Forced prostitution

Crimes against national defense

  1. Sabotaging weapons, military installations, or military communications
  2. Providing substandard weapons or military installations

Corruption and bribery

  1. Embezzlement

Breach of duty by soldiers

  1. Insubordination
  2. Concealment or false reporting of military intelligence
  3. Refusing to pass or falsely passing orders
  4. Surrender
  5. Hindering commanding officers or personnel on duty from performing their duty
  6. Defection with aircraft or ships
  7. Selling military secrets
  8. Spreading false information reducing morale
  9. Theft of military weaponry or supplies
  10. Illegally selling or transferring military weaponry or supplies
  11. Killing innocent inhabitants of war zones or plundering their property
  12. Cowardice

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