As of Saturday, you could be forced to serve up to three years in prison for "seriously" disrespecting the anthem in Communist China.
"China's rubber-stamp legislature on Saturday made disrespecting the national anthem a criminal offense punishable by up to three years in prison amid rising nationalist appeals from the ruling Communist Party under the leadership of President Xi Jinping," reports the Associated Press.
An amendment passed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress moved to harshen the punishment on people who "seriously" disrespect the national anthem in public. According to the AP, "penalties include detention, imprisonment of up to three years and the deprivation of political rights. Such punishments previously applied to the desecration of the national flag and emblem in public, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported."
A seperate law passed in October called The National Anthem Law, was also applied to Hong Kong and Macau on Saturday. The AP reports:
The National Anthem Law, which came into effect in October, stated that playing the anthem on occasions deemed improper, including funerals, or for changing its wording or presenting it in a disrespectful manner could be punished with 15 days in detention. China's legislature adopted a decision to include the law in Hong Kong's and Macau's mini-constitutions, known in each territory as the Basic Law.
Deputy director of the Legislative Affairs Commission, Zhang Rongshun, said the move was "urgent and important" in light of recent "incidents."
"In recent years, incidents of disrespecting the national anthem had occurred in Hong Kong, challenging the bottom line of the principle of 'one country, two systems' and social morality, and triggering rage among Chinese, including most Hong Kong residents," he stated.
Ironically, those leading the charge for the national anthem protests here in the United States, such as former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have sported t-shirts of Che Guevara, a communist figure in the Cuban Revolution.