I Chinacontroversy has been generated by a new bill proposed by the Public Security Administration Penal Law that seeks to ban cosplay in the country, arguing that it could harm the spirit of the Chinese nation. According to Wanuxi, China is trying to ban the practice of cosplay after the recent release of a draft law on public security administration.
The bill proposes two significant provisions in Article 34 of the Public Security Administration Penal Law, which is currently under review in China. First, it prohibits the wearing of costumes or emblems, as well as forcing others to wear them in public places if they are deemed to harm the spirit or feelings of the Chinese nation. Secondly, it prohibits activities that damage the environment and atmosphere of commemorating heroes and martyrs in public places.
As soon as the bill was unveiled, many discussions arose in online forums in the Chinese community, arguing that the first provision is aimed directly at cosplay. Recently, it has been reported that many cosplayers in China have been criticized for dressing up as Japanese or Western-looking characters at events related to anime, comics and video games. Although cosplayers emphasize that they are only dressing as characters from video games or animations, they claim that they are insulted and even forced to disrobe.
This new bill reminds people that Natsumatsuri events in mainland China were canceled last year after numerous protests, especially the one planned in Nanjing. The protests are said to be due to people’s dissatisfaction with holding a Japanese-style summer festival, despite Nanjing’s history.
As of now, the Public Security Administration Penalty Law bill is under review and has not yet been approved. If allowed, however, detention of more than 5 days and less than 10 days, or a fine of more than 1,000 yuan ($137) and not more than 3,000 yuan ($412) could be imposed, however, if it is allowed. In more serious cases, the punishment could be a detention of 10 to 15 days or less and a fine of up to 5,000 yuan ($687). The proposal sparked a wide-ranging debate in China about the limits of speech and popular culture in the country.
Fountain: The New York Times