Chinese state media say lawmakers are considering scrapping the death penalty for nine crimes, including illegal fund raising.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the proposal was submitted Monday to the standing committee of the National People's Congress, which is meeting this week in its bi-monthly session.

China has 55 crimes that are punishable by death, including murder, burglary, rape and drug-related offenses.

Some economic crimes, such as corruption and taking bribes, also are punishable by death, although Chinese courts are unlikely to hand out capital punishment.

Xinhua says the crimes considered for removal include smuggling weapons, counterfeiting currency and forcing others to engage in prostitution.

Although the number of executions each year is a state secret, China is estimated to have put about 2,400 people to death last year.