China passes patriotic education law for children, families -state media

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s national legislature on Tuesday passed a law to strengthen patriotic education for children and families, state media reported, to counter challenges such as “historical nihilism” and safeguard “national unity”.

The Patriotic Education Law provides a legal guarantee for carrying out patriotic education, state-backed Xinhua news agency reported, adding that some people “are at a loss about what is patriotism.”

“Historical nihilism” is a phrase used in China to describe public doubt and scepticism over the Chinese Communist Party’s description of past events.

The law, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024, outlines the responsibilities for central and local government departments as well as in schools and for families.

“While it is enacted to promote patriotism, the law stresses the need to be rational, inclusive and open-minded, open the country wider to the world and embrace other civilisations,” Xinhua said.

The law mandates that patriotic education respects the “history and cultural traditions of other countries and draws inspiration from all of human civilization’s outstanding achievements,” it said.

The law also has targeted measures for different groups of people, including government officials, employees, villagers and residents in special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Taiwan, state-backed China Daily said.

(Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)