China to legislate national anthem, ensuring dignified performances

China plans to institute regulations regarding the national anthem in order to ensure itsdignity, according to the Legislation Work Plan of the Standing Committee of the NationalPeople’s Congress in 2017, issued by China’s National People’s Congress, Xinhuanet.comreported on May 9.

The legislation will undergo a preliminary examination this June. In 2014, the GeneralOffice of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and General Office ofthe State Council published a document about normalizing the singing and playing of thenational anthem. Now, the proposed legislation will effectively stop insufficiently seriousand non-standard renditions of the song. Most importantly, the legislation will guide thepublic to adopt a proper attitude toward the anthem as part of a patriotic education.

The national anthem legislation stresses that on formal occasions, the public shouldrespect the anthem as they do the nation. However, this does not mean individuals will bebreaking the law if they cannot sing the anthem well, noted Yu Hai, former head of themilitary band of the People’s Liberation Army.

China is not the first country to make laws about its national anthem. Russia, Canada andMalaysia have all previously done so, with some creating legislation about their nationalflags and symbols in addition to the anthem.

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