Law to main­tain an­them’s dig­nity

China Daily (Canada) - - WORLD -

Ac­cord­ing to a draft amend­ment to the Crim­i­nal Lawthat was sub­mit­ted to China’s top leg­is­la­ture for re­viewon Tues­day, any­one who dis­re­spects the national an­them faces im­pris­on­ment of up to three years. To be spe­cific, those who ma­li­ciously mod­ify the lyrics, or play or sing the national an­them in a dis­torted or derog­a­tive way in pub­lic, or with other se­ri­ous dis­re­spect­ful be­hav­ior, will be held crim­i­nally ac­count­able and pun­ished.

China’s Con­sti­tu­tion grants its national an­them the same sta­tus as the national flag and em­blem and ex­tends to it the same le­gal pro­tec­tion. The laws cov­er­ing the national flag and em­blem were passed and came into force in 1990 and 1991, re­spec­tively. How­ever, a national an­them lawre­mained con­spic­u­ous by its ab­sence un­til one was ap­proved by the top leg­is­la­ture on Sept 1. TheNa­tional An­them Lawis a nec­es­sary supplement to the Crim­i­nal Law, which lacks any rules on pun­ish­ing those who mock or in­sult the na­tion’s an­them. It means the national an­them joins the national flag and em­blem in be­ing pro­tected by the law.

Leg­is­la­tion on dis­re­spect­ing the national an­them should also be a pri­or­ity for theHong Kong andMa­cao special ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gions. De­spite the national flag and em­blem laws be­ing ap­pli­ca­ble to the two SARs ac­cord­ing to their ba­sic laws, practical and vi­able le­gal clauses to bring those in­sult­ing the national an­them to ac­count are not in place and need to be in­tro­duced as a mat­ter of ur­gency to pro­tect the dig­nity and unity of the na­tion.

China’s national an­them, March of the Vol­un­teers, was once viewed as a clar­ion call for the lib­er­a­tion of the Chi­nese na­tion and is still re­garded as rous­ing the pa­tri­o­tism of the Chi­nese peo­ple. Any dis­re­spect shown to the na­tion’s an­them is equiv­a­lent to in­sult­ing the na­tion and should be pun­ished ac­cord­ing to the law.

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