Asia

China law would outlaw insults to Communist heroes, martyrs

  • In this Sunday, March 12, 2017 photo, delegates attending a plenary session of the National People's Congress stand for a group photo near the Monument to the People's Heroes on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. Damaging the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs could be a civil offense under a proposed draft of China's civil law as the Communist Party further tightens the space for public discourse on historical issues. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    In this Sunday, March 12, 2017 photo, delegates attending a plenary session of the National People's Congress stand for a group photo near the Monument to the People's Heroes on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. Damaging the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs could be a civil offense under a proposed draft of China's civil law as the Communist Party further tightens the space for public discourse on historical issues. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Sunday, March 12, 2017 photo, a Chinese police officer stands in front of the Monument to the People's Heroes on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. Damaging the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs could be a civil offense under a proposed draft of China's civil law as the Communist Party further tightens the space for public discourse on historical issues. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    In this Sunday, March 12, 2017 photo, a Chinese police officer stands in front of the Monument to the People's Heroes on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. Damaging the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs could be a civil offense under a proposed draft of China's civil law as the Communist Party further tightens the space for public discourse on historical issues. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  (The Associated Press)

Damaging the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs could be a civil offense under a proposed draft of China's civil law as the Communist Party further tightens the space for public discourse on historical issues.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported Monday that delegates to China's ceremonial parliament had introduced the provisions for ratification this week.

Liberal academics and intellectuals have been increasingly pressured in recent years to adhere to the Communist Party's official interpretations on historical matters.

A professor was forced into retirement in January for criticizing Mao Zedong, while a writer was convicted of libel last year after he challenged the veracity of a famous tale of Communist Party soldiers who allegedly sacrificed themselves in a battle against invading Japanese forces.