China lawmakers add defaming Party heroes to civil code offences

By REUTERS
March 13, 2017 06:16
2 minute read.
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For a symbolic $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Don't show it again

BEIJING - Lawmakers on Sunday introduced amendments to China's nascent civil code to make defaming "heroes and martyrs" of the ruling Communist Party a civil offense, as the leadership moves to strengthen its grasp on the history of the People's Republic.

China's ongoing National People's Congress (NPC), an annual meeting of some 3,000 delegates, is currently debating general rules for a civil code. The rules are expected to be passed by the event's close this Wednesday.

Delegates made 126 changes to the most recent draft of the rules, released on March 8, which will serve as a preamble to the final code, expected in 2020, state media said.

One addition is the line: "Encroaching upon the name, portrait, reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs harms the public interest, and should bear civil liability."

The deeds of revolutionary heroes and sacrifices of military martyrs are central to the Party's legitimacy, much of which is based on claims of great historic achievements, such as defeating Japan during World War Two.

Academics who offer different interpretations of history which downplay the role of the Party and its heroes are labelled "historical nihilists".

Chinese president Xi Jinping has emphasized the need for the party to have faith in its own version of history, pointing to the Soviet Union's collapse as a warning to cadres about what happens if revolutionary leaders are denounced.

The Party warned last year that a flood of online information is causing people to doubt the party and urged that the party do more to rebut "wrong" points of view.

"In modern life, some people use distorted facts and discrediting libel to maliciously slander and insult the honor and reputation of heroes and martyrs... the social impact is very bad, rules should be imposed in response," the NPC's legal committee said on Sunday, according to a report on Monday by the official Xinhua News Agency.

Lawmakers also on Sunday amended the previous draft so that the age at which a child is considered to be capable of civil actions is now 8 years old instead of 6 years old and moved to further protect "good Samaritans" who help in an emergency from liability if they accidentally cause harm.

The ongoing compilation of the civil code, which will form the basis of all China's future private law once passed, is seen by some legal reformers as a test of how far China will go in allowing civil liberties that might impinge upon state power.

Lawyers have said that previous drafts of the preamble fail to make significant progress on protecting individuals from state encroachment for long-standing issues like property rights and the right to personal freedoms.


Related Content

Breaking news
June 24, 2018
Trump calls for deporting illegal immigrants with no judges or court cases

By REUTERS