Law needed to protect reputation of heroes, martyrs

By Liu Lulu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/4/26 22:03:40

A draft law that seeks to "protect the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs" and punish those who "glorify wars of invasion" has received a warm welcome in China. "People who profane the deeds and spirit of the heroes and martyrs and those who glorify wars or acts of invasion and disturb the social order shall be punished," according to the second draft under review at the National People's Congress Standing Committee's bimonthly session.

The draft was made following recent incidents in which some Chinese people spread photos online of themselves posing in Japanese World War II army uniforms. Cases where people show no respect to victims of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, deny Japan's war crimes and even blatantly worship militarism have been exposed one after another in recent years. In this era of globalization, young Chinese worship of Japanese culture is understandable. Japan-made products have been popular in China especially after China's reform and opening-up. But there are a few individuals who are fond of modeling their style after Japanese war criminals. They are spiritually standing on the side of fascist invaders.

Placing strict limits on expression and actions when it comes to national dignity has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Glorifying Japan's invasion tramples on the dignity of heroes and martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the Chinese nation, seriously hurts the feelings of the Chinese people and exerts tremendously negative effects on Chinese society. In addition, it has triggered a strong public backlash that jeopardizes social stability. Thus it must be cracked down upon for the sake of China's national dignity and stability.

But in China, those desecrating martyrs are often treated leniently due to a lack of legal provisions. For instance, the two men posing in Japanese military uniforms in front of a Nanjing war ruins site earlier this year were only detained for 15 days, a punishment seen by many as too light. Voices calling for criminal penalties on these transgressors are frequently heard in the Chinese public. It's time for China to answer the popular call and strengthen legislation in this regard.

The country needs to draw a "red line" to prohibit any challenge to the country's national dignity and social stability. Expected to be adopted this week, the draft law will help citizens cultivate correct views on history and deter potential provocateurs from crossing the line. The law is enacted not only to regulate unruly behavior, but also to promote all of society to enhance historic education in the younger generation.

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