Beijing is examining draft amendments to the Criminal Law to redefine 'criminal syndicates' in a bid to strengthen the crackdown on organised crime on the mainland. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress will also discuss amendments to the Cultural Relics Law that will allow the private trading of cultural relics for the first time on the mainland, Xinhua reported. But the focus of the five-day session, which began yesterday, will be on redefining triads. Under the new draft, the participation in or protection by a civil servant of a triad is no longer considered vital to define a triad. In December 2000, China's top prosecutor's office issued a legal explanation at the start of the crime crackdown, listing the involvement of civil servants as a vital feature of a triad. The idea behind this was to give gangs involving corrupt officials stiffer sentences. But the ruling caused confusion. Under the new draft, gangs that are not linked to officials can be prosecuted more quickly.