Beijing: China’s top legislature on Tuesday submitted a draft amendment for the country’s criminal law to include penalties for disrespecting the national anthem.
The draft amendment was submitted for deliberation at the bi-monthly session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, which started on Monday, reports Xinhua news agency.
The National Anthem Law, passed at an NPC Standing Committee session in September, came into force in October to ensure appropriate use of the song.
Those who maliciously modify the lyrics or play or sing it in a distorted or disrespectful way in public can be detained for up to 15 days and even be held criminally liable.
“As the criminal law stipulates penalties for offences to national flag and national emblem, violations regarding national anthem should also be incorporated with the passing of the new law,” Wang Chaoying of the NPC Standing Committee’s Legislative Affairs Commission said.
According to the draft amendment, punishments for national flag and national emblem offences in public will also apply to acts of public disrespect to the national anthem.
Punishment ranges from removal of political rights and public surveillance to criminal detention and imprisonment of up to three years.
China’s national anthem “March of the Volunteers” was penned by poet Tian Han and composed by Nie Er. It was chosen as the national anthem in 1949.