What's new

China considers three years jail term for disrespecting national anthem


Jul 3, 2012
China is considering handing out three-year jail terms to people who disrespect its national anthem under a new law which could be rolled out to Hong Kong, media said on Tuesday.

The strict new rules could spark a backlash in the former British colony where football fans have booed the anthem in recent matches, sparking fury from authorities and highlighting divisions between the city and the Chinese mainland.

China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC), is considering strengthening a new law that came into effect earlier this month that is aimed at ensuring the “appropriate use” of the anthem, Xinhua news agency said.

“Punishment ranges from removal of political rights and public surveillance to criminal detention and imprisonment of up to three years,” it added.

When the National Anthem Law was first passed in September, it was announced that those who disrespected the song could be detained for 15 days.

The Xinhua report did not explain why penalties appeared to have been substantially strengthened, but it said the Standing Committee of the NPC was considering extending the new laws to Hong Kong and the former Portuguese colony of Macau.

Hong Kong fans turn their backs during Chinese national anthem. Credit: Reuters
Concerns are growing in Hong Kong that Beijing is tightening its political grip on the city, which supposedly enjoys freedoms that are guaranteed under the ‘one country, two systems’ rule.

NPC official Zhang Rongshun said: "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."

"It is urgent and important to apply the national anthem law in Hong Kong, in a bid to prevent and handle such offences."

Hong Kong football fans booed China's national anthem during a match against Malaysia earlier this month in a show of defiance against Beijing and warnings from local government officials.

The booing began after mass protests in Hong Kong in 2014 which were aimed at forcing Beijing to allow unfettered elections for the city’s leaders.


Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)