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9 minutes ago

HW International: China to ban clothes that hurt "nation's feelings" | Xi Jinping | Social media

HW News English
HW News English
A proposed legislation that seeks to prohibit speech and clothing choices deemed ""detrimental to the spirit of Chinese people"" has ignited a debate within China. If this law is enacted, individuals found guilty could face fines or imprisonment, but the proposal currently lacks a clear definition of what constitutes an offense.

Social media users and legal experts are urging for more precise language in the legislation to prevent potential overreach in its enforcement.

China recently introduced a series of proposed amendments to its public security laws, marking the first significant reforms in decades. The clothing regulation, however, has immediately triggered strong reactions from the public, with many online users criticizing it as excessive and unreasonable.

The contentious clauses of the proposed law suggest that individuals who wear clothing or symbols that are seen as ""undermining the spirit or hurting the feelings of the Chinese nation,"" or who compel others to do so, could face detention for up to 15 days and fines of up to 5,000 yuan ($680; £550). Similarly, those who create or disseminate articles or speech with such content could also be subject to the same penalties.

The proposed legal changes additionally prohibit acts that ""insult, slander, or otherwise infringe upon the names of local heroes and martyrs,"" as well as vandalism of their memorial statues.

Online discussions have raised concerns about how law enforcement authorities could unilaterally determine when the ""feelings"" of the nation are ""hurt.""

""Could wearing a suit and tie be considered an offense? After all, Marxism originated in the West. Would its presence in China also be viewed as hurting national feelings?"" one user questioned on Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like platform.

Legal experts in the country have criticized the vague wording of the law, fearing it could be subject to abuse. Zhao Hong, a law professor at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law, expressed concerns that the lack of clarity could lead to violations of personal rights. She cited a case from last year where a woman wearing a kimono was detained in Suzhou and accused of ""picking quarrels and provoking trouble,"" sparking outrage on Chinese social media.

There have been other instances of crackdowns, such as the detention of a woman wearing a replica of a Japanese military uniform at a night market in March of this year. Additionally, individuals wearing rainbow-print clothing were denied entry to a concert by Taiwanese singer Chang Hui-mei in Beijing last month.

One popular social commentator who writes under the pseudonym Wang Wusi questioned, ""Wearing a kimono hurts the feelings of the Chinese nation, eating Japanese food endangers its spirit? Since when did the feelings and spirit of the historically resilient Chinese nation become so fragile?""

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