China may mandate prison for disrespecting national anthem - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

China may mandate prison for disrespecting national anthem

BEIJING (AP) - China's legislature is considering a bill mandating prison sentences of up to three years for disrespecting the national anthem, amid rising nationalist appeals from the ruling Communist Party under the leadership of President Xi Jinping.

The move reported Tuesday by state media follows Xi's appointment to a second five-year term as party leader, for which he has designated as a central motif of realizing the "Chinese Dream" of a powerful, prosperous nation.

Since taking office in 2012, Xi has established a growing cult of personality that leans heavily on his image as a patriotic leader who brooks no slight to national dignity. Hallmarks of his term in office have included a stronger military, bolder foreign policy and aggressive economic expansion abroad, as well as sharply reduced space for criticism or political dissent at home.

The original draft legislation proposed in August called for 15 days in jail for infractions such as playing the anthem on occasions deemed improper, including funerals, or for changing its wording or presenting it in a disrespectful manner.

Settings at which the anthem can be played include political gatherings, award ceremonies, flag-raising ceremonies, important diplomatic occasions and major sport events.

The modified bill was submitted to the standing committee of the National People's Congress, which began its bi-monthly meeting on Monday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The anthem, "March of the Volunteers," has occasionally been a political flashpoint in Hong Kong, where tension is rising over mainland China's growing influence

Soccer fans in the Chinese semiautonomous region have booed the anthem when it's played at games between the home team and teams from China or other countries, leading to fines from FIFA, the sport's governing body. Pro-democracy activists and lawmakers fear a national anthem law could be used to undermine freedom of speech in Hong Kong, which has a separate legal system from the mainland.

Controversy has swirled for months in the U.S. about athletes, particularly those in the National Football League, kneeling during the national anthem to protest racism and police killings of African-Americans. President Donald Trump has lambasted such displays as disrespectful to the country's military and national symbols and urged team owners to fire players taking part.

In a ruling last year, India's Supreme Court demanded that all citizens stand when the country's national anthem is played. The court also ruled that movie theaters must resume a tradition of playing the anthem before any film, and said all those present "must stand up in respect."

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Yosemite reopens to visitors with smoky air, limited lodging

    Yosemite reopens to visitors with smoky air, limited lodging

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 2:11 AM EDT2018-08-14 06:11:30 GMT
    Tuesday, August 14 2018 7:54 PM EDT2018-08-14 23:54:04 GMT
    The nearly three-week closure of Yosemite was the result of a massive wildfire that has burned 150 square miles and killed at least two firefighters since it started July 13. (Source: KCRA/CNN)The nearly three-week closure of Yosemite was the result of a massive wildfire that has burned 150 square miles and killed at least two firefighters since it started July 13. (Source: KCRA/CNN)

    Most of Yosemite National Park is set to reopen Tuesday after a 20-day closure that cost the tourist magnet millions of dollars and devastated local businesses.

    More >>

    Most of Yosemite National Park is set to reopen Tuesday after a 20-day closure that cost the tourist magnet millions of dollars and devastated local businesses.

    More >>
  • Report: Pennsylvania priests molested over 1,000 children

    Report: Pennsylvania priests molested over 1,000 children

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 12:05 AM EDT2018-08-14 04:05:36 GMT
    Tuesday, August 14 2018 7:53 PM EDT2018-08-14 23:53:32 GMT
    The Pennsylvania Judicial Center serves as an administrative headquarters for Pennsylvania’s courts which are administered by the Supreme Court. (Source: Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania)The Pennsylvania Judicial Center serves as an administrative headquarters for Pennsylvania’s courts which are administered by the Supreme Court. (Source: Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania)

    Court records in a monthslong legal fight over the report say it identifies more than 300 "predator priests" and that grand jurors accuse church leaders of brushing aside victims to protect abusers and church institutions.

    More >>

    Court records in a monthslong legal fight over the report say it identifies more than 300 "predator priests" and that grand jurors accuse church leaders of brushing aside victims to protect abusers and church institutions.

    More >>
  • Ex-Virginia Tech student pleads guilty to hiding teen's body

    Ex-Virginia Tech student pleads guilty to hiding teen's body

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 7:00 PM EDT2018-08-14 23:00:54 GMT
    Tuesday, August 14 2018 7:51 PM EDT2018-08-14 23:51:02 GMT
    A former Virginia Tech student has pleaded guilty to concealing the body of a slain 13-year-old girl; still faces trial on a charge of being an accessory to the teen's killing.More >>
    A former Virginia Tech student has pleaded guilty to concealing the body of a slain 13-year-old girl; still faces trial on a charge of being an accessory to the teen's killing.More >>
Powered by Frankly