China, after recently passing an amendment which would detain a person who disrespects the Chinese national anthem for 15 days in jail, has increased the sentence to 3 years. The move is in tandem with China’s objective to increase nationalistic fervour in the country.
The move was passed by the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Saturday which declared that anyone who “deliberately distorts the lyrics or the music of the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China, sings the national anthem in a distorted or derogatory fashion, or insults the national anthem in any other way” will be treated under the criminal law.
The new amendment was inspired by the public debate about free speech and liberty which grew around American football players kneeling in dissent when the American national anthem was played before the game. Top CPC leadership, in cognition of this development, is trying to increase the patriotic fervour in the country by stoking sentiments around the national anthem.
“Using the rule of law to defend the dignity of the national anthem is a civilized step forward and also reflects a social consensus. Defended by rule of law, the melody of the anthem will be even more spirited and vigorous,” Chinese state-run media Xinhua said on the development.
The Chinese national anthem “March of the Volunteers” was written by poet Tian Han and was officially adopted as the Chinese national anthem in 1949. The New York Times states that deepening demands for patriotic devotion have been encouraged directly by President Xi Jinping himself, who will be serving his second five-year tenure.
However, there have been growing demands for an increased patriotic fervour among many other prominent countries. The Indian Supreme Court passed a law last year which criminalises people who do not stand up when the national anthem is played in cinemas.