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China Daily Global / 2021-03 / 02 / Page004

Standard sign language set for national anthem

By LI LEI | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-03-02 00:00

Authorities have rolled out a set of rules on how to present China's national anthem in sign language, the latest effort to promote the use of standardized sign language among the nation's estimated 27 million hearing-impaired people.

Cheng Kai, vice-chairman of the China Disabled Persons' Federation, which oversees disability policymaking and welfare promotion, inaugurated the rules on Monday at a factory owned by Beijing Dabao Cosmetics.

About 65 percent of the factory's 202 workers have hearing disabilities.

The rules were rolled out by the federation, the Ministry of Education and the National Working Committee on Languages. They were approved by the committee in September.

A media release by the federation said the rules will help fulfill sign language users' wish to join a chorus of other compatriots as they sing March of the Volunteers, a song written during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45), which officially became the People's Republic of China's national anthem in 1982.

It will let hearing-impaired people feel the national spirit and patriotism embedded in the national anthem, the federation said.

The federation released a dictionary on a unified national sign language in 2019 as part of a broader effort to standardize the use of sign language and Braille during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period.

Liu Zaijun, honorary chairman of the China Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, said at Monday's event that before the unified sign language, people from different regions had difficulties communicating with each other as the signs varied from place to place, just like dialects.

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