Square danc­ing rules set good ex­am­ple

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT -

ON MON­DAY, the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Sport is­sued a de­tailed doc­u­ment to reg­u­late square danc­ing, which for­bids peo­ple square danc­ing in places such as mar­tyrs’ ceme­ter­ies or school grounds, while also re­quir­ing gym­na­si­ums to al­low square dancers ac­cess dur­ing cer­tain hours. Thep­a­per.cn com­ments:

Square danc­ing must be one of the most pop­u­lar group ac­tiv­i­ties for se­nior cit­i­zens in China. From me­trop­o­lises to small cities to ru­ral re­gions, it is com­mon to see the el­derly danc­ing in groups in squares or any piece of space large enough to hold them.

Yet many com­plain about the noise and nui­sance they cre­ate. And there is of­ten news about square dancers “oc­cu­py­ing” the bas­ket­ball courts in com­mu­ni­ties. Like­wise, the el­derly dancers of­ten com­plain that there are very few places they can con­gre­gate.

The govern­ment has tried to reg­u­late this be­fore. In 2015, sev­eral min­istries is­sued a no­tice on square danc­ing, but that doc­u­ment only set gen­eral prin­ci­ples and lacked any de­tailed reg­u­la­tions. This time the new doc­u­ment makes a gi­ant progress be­cause it clearly de­fines rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. The square

dancers now know it is for­bid­den to dance on school grounds and gym­na­sium man­agers know they have to al­low the dancers to use the fa­cil­i­ties for a few hours ev­ery day.

When there is any con­flict of in­ter­est be­tween dif­fer­ent groups, bal­anc­ing the rights of the dif­fer­ent par­ties con­cerned is the right way to draw up rules and im­ple­ment them ef­fec­tively. The rules must be de­tailed enough so that each group knows clearly its rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

That’s also in ac­cor­dance with the spirit of the rule of law. Of course, to set the rules is only the first step, and what is needed next is strict en­force­ment of the rules so that they are ef­fec­tive. Only in this way will peo­ple have re­spect for the law and gain a sense of rules.

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