‘Defend China’s honour’: Beijing releases new morality guidelines for citizens

The new rules call for etiquette when it comes to singing the national anthem or raising the nation’s flag

The Guardian
Date: 29 Oct 2019
By: Lily Kuo in Beijing

The Chinese guidelines focuse on promoting patriotism, and call for ‘national etiquette’ for things such as singing the national anthem and raising the national flag. Photograph: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

China has released new “morality” guidelines for its citizens on everything from civic education and how parents should teach their children to rubbish sorting and the appropriate etiquette for raising the national flag.

The “Outline for the Implementation of the Moral Construction of Citizens in the New Era” calls on Chinese citizens to be honest and polite, to be “civilised” when dining, travelling, or watching a sports competition, and “defend China’s honour” while abroad.

The guidelines, focusing heavily on promoting patriotism, also called for the formulation of “national etiquette” for things such as singing the national anthem, raising the national flag, or ceremonies for when one joins the ruling Chinese communist party (CCP).

Such etiquette should “enhance people’s attitude toward the party and country and organise a collective sense of identity and belonging”, according to the document, released by the party’s central committee and the state council. It also called for citizens to “carry forward the spirit of Lei Feng”, a former soldier who has been heavily used in party propaganda campaigns since the 1960s.

Carl Minzner, China scholar and professor of law at Fordham Law School in New York, said: “The general goal of these guidelines is to define ‘good’ behaviour, and that includes everything from the ethical lessons you might want your children to internalise, from reading Peppa Pig stories to more political concepts of civic virtue – such as how citizens should think of their relationship with respect to their leaders.”    [FULL  STORY]