China’s New Patriotic Law

March 19, 2024

China adopts the new Patriotic Education Law aiming at promoting the spirit of patriotism in the country. It inculcates the history, culture, the ideology of the politics, national unity and ethnic solidarity, national security of the country. The law takes effect from January 1, 2024.

The Chinese Communist party President Xi Jinping endeavours to instill the Communist Party's ideologies on enhancing national unity in the minds of citizens from a young age inspiring patriotism and limit their ability to foster critical thinking and assert control over the education system thus limiting the exterior world influence in the younger generation and life. Patriotism and the propaganda have been an integral part of education, life of the citizens of China since the party People’s Republic was founded nearly 75 years ago and started its governance. Mr. Xi has been termed as a ‘wolf warrior’’ diplomat’ who raised the global presence of China, amidst the west resistance over the years and of recent.

Under the law, all sectors of professionals and work force and companies should synchronise and nurture the principle of patriotic feeling. Local authorities are required to leverage cultural assets, such as museums and traditional Chinese festivals, to “enhance feelings for the country and family,” and step-up patriotic education through news reports, broadcasting and movies.

Religious bodies should also “strengthen religious staff and followers’” patriotic sentiment and their awareness of the rule of law – a stipulation in line with China’s push to “sinicize” and tighten its control over religion.

The latest legislation follows a 2016 directive from the Ministry of Education to introduce across-the-board patriotic education at each stage and in every aspect of schooling, which plays a major part in the new unified law.

While it claims and promotes patriotism, critics view the laws as a way of suppression of dissent and scepticism or the Historic Nihilism. Critics claim the laws are framed in a way to restrict critical thinking and independence of its people in a way of outlining responsibilities for government employees, schools and families and people of all sectors, emphasising on an authoritarian tendency and limiting rational, inclusive and open – minded process of thinking.

The concept of "One Country, Two Systems" education for Hong Kong and Macau and Taiwan, amidst concerns about their distinct identities and freedoms. The law, however, does not provide any information as to how Chinese government officials are going to carry out the "patriotic teachings" in Taiwan.

Any denying, unpatriotic behavior, insults to soldiers, online comments and derogatory social media posting against the countries new principles and laws ends up in punishable penalties under the new unified laws.

The introduction of the law also coincides with the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China this coming October 1.


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