The human rights watchdog, Amnesty, has declared that nearly three-quarters of the world's aggregate executions happen in China.
There were 2,390 executions in 2008, of which 1,718 or 72 per cent, took place in China. The statistics showed a marked increase from 2007 when 1,252 people were put to death.
Just five countries, China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United States, accounted for 93 per cent of all executions, Amnesty said.
The human rights group said its figures for China are a minimum estimate, since the number of people put to death is a state secret in the Middle Kingdom.
Other activists estimate that anywhere from 6,000 to 15,000 people are put to death in China each year.