From Asia Times (link):
Stunned by the large number of executions carried out each year, Chinese legal experts and lawyers have joined human-rights advocates in attacking the Middle Kingdom’s system of capital punishment as arbitrary and calling for swift changes to judicial process.
Authorities have responded with cautious strides toward reforming China’s notorious system of capital punishment. It is doing that in part by announcing changes in court procedures that are expected to reduce the number of executions by 20-30%, human-rights advocates said.
China, which keeps the number of people it executes under wraps, is believed to have carried out about 8,000 executions in 2005, said Liu Renwen, a scholar at the Law Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.