Disrespecting China’s Anthem Can Now Cost 3 Years Jail

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Beijing: China has passed legislation to punish anyone who disrespects the national anthem with up to three years in prison, state media reported Saturday. The changes to China’s criminal law were approved during a committee meeting of the country’s rubber stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), according to the official Xinhua news agency.

“Serious cases of disrespecting the country’s national anthem in public would get punishments including deprivation of political rights, criminal detention, and imprisonment of up to three years,” it said. China has been fine-tuning legislation on the proper way and place to sing its national anthem, recently tightening rules that already bar people from performing it at parties, weddings and funerals.

The country in September passed a National Anthem Law applying to mainland citizens, which specified a much lesser jail term of 15 days for disrespecting the song. Xinhua said the three-year sentence could apply in “serious” cases concerning disrespect towards the anthem, but did not provide further details.

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According to the National Anthem Law, “The March of the Volunteers” can no longer be played as background music in public places and “inappropriate” private performances of the song are also forbidden.