China: Chinese government is currently deliberating on a proposed law aimed at banning clothing and speech that could be perceived as “hurting the feelings of the people of China.” This legislation, still in the drafting phase, casts a wide net, encompassing actions and expressions that may be deemed offensive or detrimental to the spirit of the Chinese populace.
The standing committee of China‘s national legislature has unveiled a preliminary draft of this far-reaching legislation, firmly placing it on the agenda for passage within the current year, according to reports from Bloomberg.
Notably, the lawmakers have refrained from providing precise details on what actions could lead to penalties such as detention for up to 15 days or fines up to 5,000 yuan ($680). This ambiguity has raised concerns among observers.
This proposed law underscores the broader trend of tightening civil liberties in China during the tenure of its leader, Xi Jinping, over the past decade. Measures such as increased internet censorship and instances like the detention of a woman in Suzhou for wearing a kimono in public highlight this trend.
China’s historical tensions with Japan, particularly regarding events from World War II, have further complicated matters. Tokyo’s decision to release treated wastewater from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean has intensified this long-standing feud.
Additionally, Chinese authorities have cracked down on individuals wearing clothing with rainbow symbols at concerts and distributing LGBTQ flags on university campuses. Even prestigious institutions like Tsinghua University have issued official reprimands to students involved in these incidents.
The proposed changes have triggered concerns among many on Chinese social media platforms, with questions raised about how authorities would determine when the nation’s sentiments are hurt.
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This unfolding legislative development has ignited discussions about freedom of expression and cultural sensitivity within China and the global community.