To have a chance of being chosen, prisoners must abide by prison regulations and show good rehabilitation progress so that if released, they would not disturb the social order and security.
They must also have served at least one-third of their sentence or at least 14 years of a life sentence.
And they must have paid all fines and compensation for damages, except elderly or sick prisoners over 60 years of age not convicted of corruption.
Those who meet the first and the third criteria, but have only served a quarter of their sentence or 12 years of their life sentence are still eligible for amnesty if they are war invalids or accredited People's Artists, People's Doctors or People's Teachers or Labour Heroes.
Others exempt from much of the criteria are those who were juveniles when they committed the crime or were pregnant or had children under three years of age living with their mothers in prison.