China’s top legislature is reviewing a draft law to ban malicious parodies of its national anthem, Xinhua reports. According to the draft, which was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for its first reading on June 22, the song is banned from being performed at funerals or other “improper events,” nor can it be used in advertisements or as background music in public. Anyone who “maliciously” modifies the lyrics or performs it “in a distorted or disrespectful way” will face up to 15 days in detention.
Shen Chunyao 沈春耀, chairman of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the committee, said (in Chinese) that it is necessary to create the national anthem law, because such a law is of great significance to “preserve the country’s dignity” and “promote patriotism” among citizens. The draft also includes other regulations, such as requiring the song to be taught in elementary schools as a “key part” of patriotic education.
While some people on the Chinese internet applauded the proposal, saying that “everyone should have respect for the national anthem since it is sacred,” others felt the law is “a bit too much.” On the social media platform Weibo, one commenter wrote (in Chinese), “A national anthem law is in fact an indication of a country’s lack of confidence.”
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