China on Sunday passed its first-ever anti-terrorism laws in an effort to address what officials say is a growing threat across the country. China’s legislature passed the controversial measures to create a new counterterrorism agency and security forces with increased powers. “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 Weixing, an official with the public-security ministry, was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency. Critics have called the laws too broad in defining terrorism, which could allow Chinese authorities to use them against dissidents and religious minorities.
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