A draft patriotic education law was submitted to the standing committee of the China People’s Congress (NPC) for its first reading on June 26, 2023. The NPC is the highest legislative body in China.
The law will apply not only to mainland China, but also to overseas Chinese, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The bill prioritizes the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and emphasizes using its heritage for patriotic education. All segments of the Chinese society including schools, enterprises and public institutions will be required to promote patriotic education, study of “Xi Jinping Thought” and “core socialist values”.
Here are some translated excerpts from the China Law Translate
Article 3: Patriotic education shall raise high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, adhere to the guidance of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, persist in unifying love for the nation, the party, and socialism; and, focusing on preserving national and ethnic unity, make the establishment of a modern socialist power and realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people a striking theme.
Article 4: Patriotic education is to adhere to the leadership of the Communist Party of China, completing work structures for unified leadership and joint management.
Article 21: The state is to guide and support religious groups, religious institutes, and religious activity sites in carrying out patriotic education activities, enhancing religious professionals’ and believers’ identification with the great motherland, the Chinese people, Chinese culture, The Chinese communist party, and socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Article 22: The state is to adopt measures to carry out history and culture education and national education, enhancing identification with the excellent traditional Chinese culture among compatriots from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region, and Taiwan, consciously preserving national and ethnic unity.
The state is to strengthen communication with overseas Chinese, doing a good job in the safeguarding of rights and interests and in services, enhancing overseas Chinese feelings of patriotism and carrying forward the patriotic tradition.
The proposed “Patriotic Education” law along with China’s new “Foreign Relations” law passed in June 2023 reflects Chinese leadership’s increasing focus on national security issues and the fear that external threats and internal instability could challenge the authority of the party and regime. Restive population in East Turkistan, Hong Kong and Tibet; a weakening economy and high youth unemployment are some of the internal issues. The Chinese government is trying to counter these through further empowerment of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), indoctrination and promotion of patriotism.
Hong Kong Leader, John Lee, was reported to have said that Hong Kong will comply with China’s “patriotic education law,” a day after the bill was tabled to China’s legislature.
The proposed bill will hit the people of East Turkistan, Southern Mongolia and Tibet especially hard as it represents another dimension of the Chinese government’s efforts to fully assimilate all non-Chinese people and communities.