China's lawmakers deliberate a draft law on national supervision, a draft law on the national anthem and so forth during the 28th session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee in Beijing, capital of China, June 24, 2017. Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, attended the discussions on Saturday. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- China's lawmakers deliberated a draft law on the national anthem Saturday.
Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), joined the deliberation.
A draft was submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for the first reading at the start of its bi-monthly session, which runs until Tuesday.
Legislating for the national anthem will be conducive to enhancing citizens' patriotism and upholding national dignity, said Huang Qifan, vice chairman of the NPC Financial and Economic Affairs Committee.
The national anthem should be played/sung at the opening sessions and closing sessions of NPC and local people's congresses at all levels, and that of National Committee and local committees of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, constitutional oath ceremonies, as well as flag raising ceremonies, major celebrations, awards ceremonies, commemorations and national memorial day events held by governments at all levels.
Important diplomatic activities, major sports activities and other proper events should also play the national anthem, according to the draft.
Zheng Gongcheng, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, said that opening and graduation ceremonies at schools should be added to the clause.
The national anthem should be included in music textbooks for first-grade students at primary schools, according to the draft.
Su Hui, another member of the committee, suggested that the song should be an important part of kindergarten education.
According to the draft, those who maliciously modify the lyrics or play/sing the national anthem in a distorted or disrespectful way may face detention for up to 15 days.
Sun Zhijun, a member of the committee, suggested that cases of gross violation shall be investigated for criminal responsibility, as the similar clause has been listed in the country's national flag law and national emblem law.