BEIJING, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature on Saturday voted and passed an amendment to the country's criminal law to punish acts of gravely disrespecting the national anthem.
The amendment was passed at the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).
According to the amendment, punishments previously stipulated for national flag and national emblem desecration in public now also apply to serious acts of public disrespect to the national anthem.
Punishments include deprivation of political rights, criminal detention and imprisonment of up to three years.
The National Anthem Law, adopted at an NPC Standing Committee session in September, came into force last month to ensure appropriate use of the song.
Those who maliciously modify the lyrics, or play or sing the national anthem in a distorted or disrespectful way in public, can be detained for up to 15 days, and even be held criminally liable, according to the law.
China's national anthem "March of the Volunteers" has lyrics by poet Tian Han and music by Nie Er.
The song encouraged Chinese soldiers and civilians during the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.
It was chosen as the national anthem in 1949.