BEIJING – China's legislature is considering a bill mandating prison sentences of up to three years for disrespecting the national anthem.
The move comes amid rising nationalist appeals from the Communist Party under President Xi Jinping, who has made realizing the "Chinese Dream" of a powerful, prosperous nation the motif of his second five-year term as the nation's leader.
The original draft legislation called for just 15 days in jail for infractions such as playing the anthem on occasions deemed improper, including funerals, or for modifying its wording or presenting it in a disrespectful manner.
The bill was submitted to the standing committee of the National People's Congress, which began meeting on Monday.
The anthem, "March of the Volunteers," has occasionally been a political flashpoint in the semiautonomous region of Hong Kong.