China’s answer to anthem disrespect: up to 3 years in prison

Yahoo News

BEIJING (AP) — China’s rubber-stamp legislature on Saturday made disrespecting the national anthem a criminal offense punishable by up to three years in prison amid rising nationalist appeals from the ruling Communist Party under the leadership of President Xi Jinping.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed an amendment to the country’s criminal law outlining punishments for people found “seriously” disrespecting the national anthem in public.  

The move follows Xi’s appointment to a second five-year term as party leader, for which he has touted a vision of achieving a “Chinese Dream” of a powerful, prosperous nation. It also comes as the anthem, “March of the Volunteers,” has in recent months been a political flashpoint in the southern Chinese city of Hong Kong, where tensions are rising over Beijing’s efforts to assert its authority over the territory.

According to the amendment passed Saturday in Beijing, penalties include detention, imprisonment of up to three years and the deprivation of political rights. Such punishments previously applied to the desecration of the national flag and emblem in public, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The legislature also moved to apply a separate, recently passed law on the national anthem to Hong Kong and Macau, Chinese semiautonomous regions with separate legal systems.

Soccer fans in Hong Kong have booed the anthem when it’s played at games between the home team and teams from China or other countries, leading to fines from FIFA, the sport’s governing body. Pro-democracy activists and lawmakers fear a national anthem law could be used to undermine freedom of speech in Hong Kong.

The National Anthem Law, which came into effect in October, stated that playing the anthem on occasions deemed improper, including funerals, or for changing its wording or presenting it in a disrespectful manner could be punished with 15 days in detention. China’s legislature adopted a decision to include the law in Hong Kong’s and Macau’s mini-constitutions, known in each territory as the Basic Law.

Xinhua cited Zhang Rongshun, deputy director of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the top parliamentary body, as saying it was “urgent and important” to apply the anthem law in Hong Kong to address recent incidents.

“In recent years, incidents of disrespecting the national anthem had occurred in Hong Kong, challenging the bottom line of the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ and social morality, and triggering rage among Chinese, including most Hong Kong residents,” Zhang said.

Since his appointment as party leader in 2012, Xi has established a growing cult of personality that leans heavily on his image as a patriotic leader who brooks no slight to national dignity. Hallmarks of his term in office have included a stronger military, bolder foreign policy and aggressive economic expansion abroad, as well as sharply reduced space for criticism or political dissent at home.

8 thoughts on “China’s answer to anthem disrespect: up to 3 years in prison

  1. Stories like this really put wind in the sails of the team ‘muricah crowd. They get mileage out of the old cue-card mantra my folks and all their friends used to say….”thank God we live in the freest country in the world, with the best healthcare and education system, free speech and press unlike those communist countries with their state-run media, and the opportunity to be anything you want to be”. I’d swear it was painted on a wall behind my head.
    Just keep repeating that to yerself…

    1. Well, it does have a few shades of truth in it. Kinda like China’s at a seven and we’re comin’ in around four and a half. As suffering increases the numbers rise. Mao was good with numbers.


      1. Comparatively to China, yes. They can settle for whatever their manifesto declares. In regards to what our Bill of Rights says, we’re well into triple digits. I won’t settle for less. He must’ve had a hell of an abacus! 🙂

        On another note, looks like a few dozen more ff/hx bodies have been added from San Antonio

  2. Out in Colorado Liliy Tang Willams ran for US Senate on the libertarian ticket last year and lost…..but what a story she has! People just don’t get it. Her story growing up in China should go viral.

  3. In America we put a ball in their hand and give them millions of dollars, if they wipe their ass with the flag, they get a 250,000 dollar bonus.

  4. I don’t do flag worship/fealty.

    “Edward Bellamy and Francis Bellamy (author of the Pledge) were American national socialists and touted “military socialism” (their term. they wanted all of society to emulate the military) and their dogma was the origin of the German national socialist salute when Francis Bellamy began the Pledge of Allegiance with the military salute that was then extended outward to point at the flag.”


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