China is drafting a tough law against the misuse of the country's national anthem at public places, funerals and other "improper" private occasions by introducing criminal prosecution for violators, according to a media report today.
The draft legislation was given a second reading at the bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, the top legislative body, which opened today.
Lawmakers have backed the proposal to ban the anthem at funerals and other "improper" private occasions, in commercial advertisements or as background music at public places, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
The violators, including those who maliciously modify the lyrics, will face criminal prosecution or up to 15 days detention, the report said.
The song will only be allowed at formal political gatherings, including the opening and closing of NPC sessions, constitutional oath ceremonies, flag raising ceremonies, major celebrations, award ceremonies, commemorations, national memorial day events, important diplomatic occasions, major sport events and other proper occasions, it said.
Despite the restrictions, the legislation encourages people to sing the anthem on proper occasions to express patriotism.
The law states that the song should be included in textbooks for students at primary and secondary schools.