China has lowered the age of criminal responsibility to 12 years old for "abominable" crimes such as murder or causing injury that leads to death or severe disabilities by extremely cruel means, the China Daily said.
The revision was passed by the National People`s Congress Standing Committee on Saturday after a third review and will be effective from March 1.
It applies to children aged between 12 and 14, the state-backed newspaper said.
Children in China aged 14-16 can be held criminally liable if they intentionally commit serious violent crimes such as murder and rape.
For most other offences, the age of criminal liability is 16.