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China’s new patriotic education law targets ethnic groups

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(TibetanReview.net, Oct26’23) – Citing the citizen’s constitutional obligation to safeguard national unity and the solidarity of all the country’s ethnic groups, and to safeguard the security, honour and interests of the motherland, China has, on Oct 24, newly adopted a national Patriotic Education Law.

Among other things, the law is expected to strengthen President Xi Jinping’s drive for the assimilation of the ethnic minority regions of the People’s Republic of China in the name of Sinicization. He has long called for a unified “community of Chinese nationhood” as a bulwark against threats at home and abroad. Every ethnic group must fuse into one indivisible China with a shared heritage dating back over 5,000 years, he was cited as saying previously.

The law, passed at a session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s national legislature, provides a legal guarantee for carrying out patriotic education, said China’s official Xinhua news agency Oct 24.

The report said the legislation was carried out amid public expectations to promote patriotic education, which it said was facing challenges including the influences of some social thoughts, such as historical nihilism, in recent years. Some people are at a loss about what is patriotism, the report claimed.

“Historical nihilism” is a term used by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and some scholars in China to describe research, discussions, or viewpoints deemed to contradict any official state version of history in a manner perceived to question or challenge the legitimacy of the CCP.

The intrusive, all-encompassing law, which will take effect on Jan 1, 2024, is stated to specify the responsibilities in patriotic education of entities ranging from central and local government departments to schools and families.

Patriotism serves as a vital bond among various ethnic groups and inspires generations of Chinese people to strive to build a strong and prosperous country, the report said.

The report noted that the new law had provisions already contained in laws such as the National Anthem Law and the Law on the Protection of Heroes and Martyrs, which ban such acts as insulting the national flag and distorting or denying heroes’ deeds and spirit.

The report said that with the enactment of the Patriotic Education Law, the Chinese people will be able to better shore up the national spirit and forge a collective force toward building a stronger China and realizing national rejuvenation through a Chinese path to modernization.

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