• STV
  • MySTV

China to imprison anyone who disrespects national anthem

The one-party state introduced prison terms of up to three years for those disrespecting anthem.

An army choir after an event dedicated to China's national anthem.
An army choir after an event dedicated to China's national anthem. AP

China has made it a criminal offence to disrespect the national anthem, punishable by a prison sentence of up to three years.

The one-party state's Parliament rubber-stamped the change in law on Saturday, amid a growing swell of nationalism under President Xi Jinping.

Since his appointment as party leader in 2012, Xi has established a growing cult of personality that leans heavily on his image as a patriotic leader.

The country's anthem, called March of the Volunteers, has also become a flashpoint for protests over Chinese rule in Hong Kong in recent months, where football bans have booed when it is played.

China's football team stand ahead of a World Cup qualifier match.
China's football team stand ahead of a World Cup qualifier match. AP

China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress passed an amendment to the country's criminal law stating that those who "seriously" disrespect the flag in public could face penalties including prison time and the deprivation of political rights.

Similar penalties already applied to desecrating the national flag and emblem in public, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

China also recently introduced a new National Anthem Law against playing the anthem on occasions deemed improper, including funerals, with penalties of up to 15 days in prison.

That law also banned changing the anthem's wording or presenting it in a disrespectful manner.

Chinese leaders stand for the national anthem.
Chinese leaders stand for the national anthem. AP

The legislature also moved to apply a separate, recently passed law on the national anthem to Hong Kong and Macau, both of which are semi autonomous regions with separate legal systems.

Xinhua cited Zhang Rongshun, deputy director of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the top parliamentary body, as saying it was "urgent and important" to apply the anthem law in Hong Kong to address recent incidents.

"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," Zhang said.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on it's website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.