CHINA'S top judge has called on courts at all levels to crack down hard on criminal activities that endanger national security and social stability, official reports said yesterday. According to Xinhua (the New China News Agency), Supreme People's Court head Ren Jianxin also indicated that immediate and concentrated action must be taken in regions where social order and public discontent have reached crisis level. Mr Ren was delivering the call at a national work conference of judges which opened in Beijing yesterday. He said in his address the crackdown against serious crimes, as well as corruption and bribery cases, would be the major tasks for courts in 1994. ''Social order is the necessary premise and guarantee for the development of the economy. ''There are still some elements of instability. Hostile forces in and outside the country have never stopped their subversive activities [against China]. The social situation remains severe,'' Mr Ren said. The top judge has ordered court officials to hit hard against any criminal activities that undermine national security, damage social stability and disrupt the social order. ''Regarding regions where social order is chaotic and activities [show] that the masses have strong discontent, [we] have to launch a struggle and timely crackdown,'' he said. Mr Ren indicated that there should be no laxity over cases that should be severely dealt with in accordance with law. ''[We should try to] create a peaceful social environment that the masses are happy with,'' he said. China launched a high-profile crackdown against corruption and economic crimes in the middle of this year. But critics said the communist leaders had taken their hands off ''big tigers'' - referring to senior-ranking officials - in the crackdown. Mr Ren reported that courts at all levels had completed the trials of 2.8 million cases from January to November this year. Of them, about 333,000 were criminal cases. Saying that anti-corruption was crucial to the success of reform, he said a severe crackdown against corruption and bribery remained the top priority for courts. Any individuals who were found to be involved with those cases would be dealt with and punished, Mr Ren said. ''[We] must not tolerate and abet [those criminals] and break our promise to the people.'' Mr Ren said mainland courts had also focused on the trial of major economic crimes in the first 11 months this year. More than 60 per cent of economic crime cases involved more than 10,000 yuan (HK$13,000), he said. His deputy, Gao Changli, said the number of economic crimes involving foreign investors including Hong Kong and Taiwan businessmen had soared as China opened wider for trade and economic co-operation. Those cases, he said, should be given a fair trial and the lawful rights and benefits of foreign investors should be protected. This would enable the mainland economic system to converge with the international economy, and facilitate the country's reform, Mr Gao said.