Capital punishment is applied flexibly to a wide range of crimes, some of which are punishable by death in no other judicial system in the world. Economic crimes such as tax fraud have appeared routinely among the dockets of those receiving the death sentence, as have relatively small-scale drug offenses. Death is also frequently imposed on repeat offenders whose individual crimes would be considered relatively minor in most judicial systems, such as non-violent theft or causing incidental bodily harm that is not life threatening or debilitating. Capital punishment is also imposed on inchoate crimes, that is, attempted crimes which are not actually fully carried out, including repeat offenses such as attempted theft or attempted fraud. The recidivistic nature of the offenses, not their seriousness per se, is what is adjudicated to merit the capital sentence.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_pu ... c_of_China
Now that's protection of property.