CPPCC members co-sign proposal to protect national dignity

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, March 9, 2018
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Yesterday in Beijing, 38 top political advisors co-signed a proposal appealing to legislate protection of national dignity. The proposal comes after two individuals made light of Japanese war criminals in a public stunt that simultaneously mocked China's historical wounds.

In February two men appeared at the site of a fort in Nanjing dressed in the uniforms of the Japanese army used during the Chinese War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1931-1945). Their action stoked anger and caused a strong public backlash. Police later detained the two.

Japanese troops occupied Nanjing on Dec. 13, 1937 and killed more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers over a six-week period, as illustrated in numerous historical documents, videos and photos.

The two Chinese individuals are part of worrying phenomenon in Chinese society—similar to neo-Nazism in Europe—in which people make fun of martyrs and victims of historical atrocity, have become obsessed with Japanese Militarism, or are in other ways challenging national identity.

"They are the scum of Chinese people," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi remarked on Thursday when a reporter called for comment at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing annual two sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). 

Minister Wang's response triggered a round of patriotic discussions and applause online throughout the day.

"The individual has dignity, but the nation also has dignity," said He Yunao, a history professor from Nanjing University and member of the 13th National Committee of the CPPCC. He submitted a proposal on Thursday asking the NPC to draft a special law to protect national dignity.

The proposal was co-signed by other 37 CPPCC members, including veteran actors Jackie Chan, Zhang Kaili and Feng Yuanzheng, as well as Lyu Zhangshen, director of the National Museum of China.

The proposal cites an extant law which punishes insults against the Chinese national flag, emblem and anthem, and suggests that the law be extended to further define additional acts as criminal, including affronts to Chinese dignity, history, heroes and martyrs, as well as actions by Chinese citizens that promote Japanese Militarism and Nazism in China.

Professor He said the proposal is not meant to target any particular individuals but to erase these negative trends and morals in the name of building a healthier society with stronger values. "Let the actions that confuse right and wrong be dealt with by the law," he said.

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