Two reports from today’s China desk:

The number of criminal executions will be reduced in China, with the sentence of death penalty with reprieve handed out more often in courts. Zhang Jun, vice-president of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC), said legislation will be improved to restrict the number of death sentences and the SPC will tighten restrictions on the use of capital punishment. “As it is impossible for the country to abolish capital punishment under current realities and social security conditions, it is an important effort to strictly control the application of the penalty by judicial organs,” Zhang said in an interview with Legal Daily. –– China Daily

While the jury is still out on whether China can sustain its pace of growth, one already optimistic forecast just got even brighter, which could be good news for investors in mainland Chinese shares. Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its forecast Monday for the world’s third-largest economy to grow 8.7%, from 8.0% previously. Recent economic data “convinced the market that China’s recovery is real,” said Merrill economist Ting Lu in a note.  – Dow Jones MarketWatch

As with almost everything about China, the numbers are impressive. Forecast economic growth: 8.7%. Number of criminals sentenced to death, life imprisonment, or more than five years in prison last year: 159,020. Maybe it’s time to connect the dots?