Home > PUBLICATIONS & RESOURCES > JOURNAL >

On the Legal Status of Sign Language and Braille in China: Development Process and Institutional Evolution
June 05,2022   By:CSHRS
On the Legal Status of Sign Language and Braille in China: Development Process and Institutional Evolution
 
FENG Zehua*
 
Abstract: On the 30th anniversary of the implementation of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, re-examining the standardization of sign language and Braille will help implement the 14th Five-Year Plan and further improve the protection system for the rights and interests of persons with disabilities. From the perspective of regulation, conception and cultivation, it is necessary to clarify the legal status of sign language and Braille in China, accelerate the development of education, and heighten the awareness of rights protection. Identifying sign language and Braille either as a part of the standard national spoken and written language or as a supplementary language can both reaffirm their actual status in the practice of language and script standardization, but the actual needs of the promotion and use of sign language and Braille have not yet been met. Only when the two are clearly defined as being forms of the standard national spoken and written language can their legal status be fundamentally consolidated, and a systematic structure for the protection of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities be realized. In order to determine the legal status of the two as being forms of the standard national language, a three-level system of “legal foundation-legislative implementation-system support” should be put in place, so as to form a synergy for the promotion of national standard sign language and Braille.
 
Keywords: sign language · braille · people with disabilities · national standard language · legal status
 
I. The Proposal of Questions
 
Since the implementation of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities (hereinafter referred to as the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities) 30 years ago, the sense of gain, happiness, and security of persons with disabilities has continued to improve, with the country’s historic achievements in the cause of persons with disabilities, attracting worldwide attention.1 However, due to the unbalanced and inadequate development of our country, during the 14th Five-year Plan (2021-2025) period, we still need to further improve the care service system and facilities for persons with disabilities, improve the social welfare system to help persons with disabilities, and better protect the rights and interests of persons with disabilities. In various protection systems for persons with disabilities, the standardization of sign language and Braille is an essential breakthrough point. If we say “language rights are a basic right,”2 then the right to write is also a basic human right. For deaf people, protecting sign language is safeguarding their basic human rights. For the blind, Braille is a medium for them to communicate emotionally with the outside world, helping them to understand and connect with the world through unique symbols. Thus, from this perspective, the protection of sign language and Braille are the guarantees for the basic human rights of people with visual and hearing disabilities. At present, although gratifying results have been achieved in the standardization of sign language and Braille in China, which, to a large extent, meets the needs of people with visual, hearing, and speaking disabilities (hereafter referred to as people with visual and hearing disabilities), the popularization of sign language and Braille is facing some difficulties due to the insufficient binding force for standardized norms and lack of social attention. Statistics from China Persons with disabilities’ Federation show that the total number of persons with disabilities in China is 85.02 million, among which there are 33.47 million with visual and hearing disabilities, accounting for 40.54 percent of the total number of persons with disabilities.3 It is obvious that sign language and Braille, as basic tools, play an important role in the daily life of most persons with disabilities. As an important group of Chinese citizens, people with visual and hearing disabilities should be provided with a sound protection system so that they can enjoy equal treatment and equal resources to the maximum extent, which is an essential part of realizing human rights protection. Therefore, it is necessary to re-examine the legal status of sign language and Braille and clarify the basic questions concerning the protection of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities to accelerate the standardization of sign language and Braille.
 
In recent years, an increasing number of scholars have suggested that sign language or Braille be recognized as a part of the standard national language4and have proposed that the language system be restructured to promote standard sign language and standard Braille. Lin Hao et al. have proposed ways to improve China’s sign language policy by drawing on the international experience of sign language legislation.5 Likewise, Yin Yue has advocated drawing experience from South Korean sign language policy to promote a standard national sign language.6 Reflecting on domestic sign language systems, Xie Liufen,7 Wang Xiuli,8 and other scholars have proposed including sign language into the elective course in Chinese colleges and universities for promotion purposes to realize a standardized national sign language. Yang Xinhui has advocated reform of the sign language translation system to better protect the legal rights and interests of deaf people.9 With regard to Braille, Teng Weimin,10 Sun Zhe,11 and other scholars have outlined the ups and downs of the Chinese Braille system and the orientation for reform. At the same time, the discussion on the legal status of sign language and Braille has been hotly debated in foreign academic circles. Reagan,12 Wilcox,13 and other scholars have conducted research on the legislation system for sign languages or Braille in different countries. Among them, De Meulder classified five types of sign language legislation around the world, and made a further interpretation of three types of implicit legislation,14 while Wheatley advocated the protection of sign languages by defining them as “regional or minority languages.”15
 
Generally speaking, there has been an initial exploration into the legal status of sign language or Braille in domestic and international academic circles, but there is still room for improvement. First, the current research only focuses on the theory of standardizing sign language, and there are few comprehensive results exploring the status of Braille; second, a lack of research on the institutional rationality and the specific direction for the construction of a normative status for sign language and Braille in China leads to insufficient public recognition of the legal status of sign language and Braille. To heighten public recognition of sign language and Braille and further improve China’s system of standard language and writing, during the “two sessions” in 2020, Zhou Ye, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), suggested clarifying the legal status of a standard national sign language and Braille to ensure their popularization,16 which aroused widespread discussion throughout the whole of society. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the implementation of the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, it is necessary to re-examine and clarify the legal status of sign language and Braille, encourage the entire society to pay more attention to the language rights of persons with disabilities, create an inclusive and open social ecology, and take the opportunity of effectively safeguarding the language rights of persons with disabilities to achieve the systematic reconstruction of the rights and interests protection system for persons with disabilities.
 
II. The Progress and Restraints in the Standardization of Sign Language and Braille in China
 
A. The dimension of standardization: The legal status of sign language and Braille still needs to be clarified
 
Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China more than 70 years ago, the standardization of sign language and Braille has gone through an extraordinary development process (see Table 1). Through systematic reform by many departments, sign language and Braille have gradually adapted to the changing times, and they have, to a certain extent, met the basic living needs of people with visual and hearing disabilities. By April 2021, more than 90 laws and 50 administrative regulations had been introduced directly protecting the rights and interests of persons with disabilities,17 showing the legal system for protecting the rights and interests of persons with disabilities is growing well-developed. So far, however, not a single law has defined the 
legal status of sign language or Braille.
 
First, current legal norms mostly adopt general legislation to protect the rights of people with visual and hearing disabilities. For example, Article 3 of the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities provides that “persons with disabilities enjoy equal rights with other citizens in political, economic, cultural, social and family life.” To realize full coverage of the protection of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, similar legal norms must be highly generalized. Therefore, provisions in the legislation involving how to use sign language or Braille to effectively participate in social affairs tend to be “simple and shallow without detailed description,” providing no clear guidance as to how able-bodied persons can effectively communicate with people with visual and hearing disabilities using sign language or Braille. Although this legislation model conforms to the rule of law logic for protecting the rights and interests of special groups, if sign language and Braille are not standardized as special rights, there will be a lack of legal support for the supporting measures facilitating the communication between able-bodied persons and persons with disabilities. As the saying goes, “No one can do anything that is not authorized by the law”; the authorities will naturally not assume any responsibility beyond that prescribed by law. As an example, the rights of the elderly to have access to digital public services have not been effectively defended. In the digital age, the needs of the elderly tend to be ignored in the operation of digital public services. During the COVID-19 period, it has proved hard for the elderly to adapt to digital public services, which has resulted in the occurrence of ridiculous news like “a 94-year-old man was carried to the bank for face recognition.”18 This is precisely because laws and regulations concerning digital applications ignore disadvantaged groups. To reverse this passive situation, the official introduction of the Data Security Law of the People’s Republic of China stipulates, “The provision of digital public services shall fully consider the needs of the elderly and the disabled, to avoid causing obstacles to the daily life of the elderly and the disabled.” Similarly, defining the legal status of sign language and Braille is crucial to improving the protection system for the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, alleviating or even eliminating the impact of disability and external obstacles, and ensuring the rights and interests of persons with disabilities. Furthermore, this provision in the Data Security Law of the People’s Republic of China can also provide a solid legal basis for people with visual and hearing disabilities to actively adapt to digital public services.
 
Second, the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language (hereinafter referred to as the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language), the basic law of the People’s Republic of China on the standard spoken and written Chinese language, only specifies that “China’s national standard spoken and written language is Mandarin and standardized Chinese characters,” while the legal status of sign language and Braille remains to be clarified. China issued the National Action Plan for the Standardization of Sign Language and Braille (2015-2020) in October 2015, which officially clarified that “sign language and Braille are an important component of the national spoken and written language,” marking the start for their inclusion as standard national spoken and written languages. In August 2021, the Second National Action Plan for the Standardization of Sign Language and Braille (2021-2025) also made it clear that “sign language and Braille are an important component of the national written and spoken language.” The two Action Plans seem to have established the “legal status” of sign language and Braille. But a closer examination reveals three concerns. First, the two Action Plans make sign language and Braille a “national spoken and written language” rather than forms of the “standard national spoken and written language.” From the point of view of the law, a national spoken and written language and the standard national spoken and written language are not the same, as the former can contain the latter, but the latter enjoys a higher legal status than the former. Paragraph 4 under Article 4 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the Constitution) stipulates that “all ethnic groups have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages.” Obviously, in a broad sense, China’s national spoken and written language can also include the languages of various ethnic groups, but these languages are not the standard national spoken and written language. Second, even if the “national spoken and written language” is vaguely interpreted as “the standard national spoken and written language”, the two Action Plans still fail to effectively consolidate the legal status of sign language and Braille. The two Action Plans established sign language and Braille as “an important component” of the national spoken and written language. Following the logic of the rule of law, there is a world of difference between directly defining the legal status of an object and vaguely establishing it as an “important component” of something. The Compulsory Education Law of the People’s Republic of China, for example, expressly provides that compulsory education “means education which is uniformly provided by the State and which all the school-age children and adolescents must receive, and constitutes a public welfare undertaking which must be guaranteed by the State,” while the Vocational Education Law of the People’s Republic of China stipulates that vocational education ‘“constitutes an important component of the nation’s educational undertakings as well as an important avenue for promoting economic and social development and employment.” Compulsory education, as “a public welfare undertaking that must be guaranteed by the State”, and vocational education, as “an important component of the nation’s educational undertakings, have obvious differences in legal status, which directly affects the strength of the State guarantee. In the same way, if the intention is to clarify the legal status of sign language and Braille, why not define them directly as “standard national written and spoken languages,” instead of using the name “important components”? Finally, in terms of the nature of legal documents, the two Action Plans are policy documents, which are not binding enough and lack a systematic incentive and restraint mechanism, so it is difficult to solve the problem of promoting the use of national standard sign language and national standard Braille in a short period. It is urgent to transform the two Action Plans into national laws to maximize the awareness of the whole society to protect the language and writing rights of persons with disabilities.

\

\
 
B. The conceptual dimension: Awareness of the protection of rights related to sign language and Braille needs to be strengthened
 
Following the logic of the construction of the rule of law, behind the fuzzy legal status and inadequate practice of rights tends to be a weak awareness of rights. In terms of the conceptual dimension, the imperfection of sign language and Braille standardization in China stems from a loss of a sense of value in ecological protection of sign language and Braille, i.e., the long-standing weak awareness of protecting the language and writing rights of persons with disabilities in China. In 1955, the pioneering Theory of Cultural Change by Julian Haynes Steward, an American anthropologist, proved the interactive relationship between culture and environments. He believed that the unique cultural patterns of each country is based on the relationship of “ecological adaptation” — culture is formed by human beings seeking social survival in the process of exploiting environmental resources,19 which led to the birth of cultural ecology. Robert Francis Murphy, an American anthropologist, further proposed that the essence of the cultural ecology theory refers to a dynamic and creative relationship between culture and the environment, including technology, resources, and labor.20 Therefore, in the concept of cultural ecology, the cultural concept is not the direct product of economic activities, and its formation and evolution are mixed with a variety of complex variables. For example, old social concepts, popular new concepts in real life, and special development trends of society and community can create unique situations, which will have an indelible impact on cultural concepts. The same is true of the formation of cultural ecosystems in sign language and Braille. When society as a whole lacks awareness of the protection of sign language and Braille-related rights, and the widespread use of Mandarin and standardized Chinese characters is accepted as legitimate, the promotion of sign language and Braille use will face multiple obstacles, which in turn will dissolve the cultural ecology for the protection of sign language and Braille. The concept of value in the ecology of protection is an important category in the cultural ecology, which emphasizes the protection of the overall interests of the ecosystem. Persons with disabilities are in the minority in society, and according to the logic that the minority is subordinate to the majority, the language and writing standard naturally cannot disproportionately protect the rights of the minority regardless of an increase in the cost of the legislation. Once conformity reaches a certain level, the social function of sign language and Braille as a language and writing system cannot be fully demonstrated, and may even be regarded as a burden.
 
If the public fails to establish a correct concept of the written and spoken language, their awareness of protecting the written and spoken language of special groups will naturally be weak, which will affect the sustainable development of sign language and Braille education. At present, special schools can provide relatively sound sign language and Braille education for people with visual and hearing disabilities, while the sign language and Braille education in ordinary schools lags behind. It is worth affirming that, Article 29 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Minors, which was revised in 2020, stipulates that, “Schools should show concern for and take good care of minor students and may not discriminate against students based on family, physical, psychological, learning ability and other circumstances. Students with family difficulties or physical or mental disabilities should be cared for; students with abnormal behavior and learning difficulties should be given patient help.” The law expressly prohibits discrimination in schools based on “physical and psychological conditions or mental or physical disabilities,” which can be seen as a special measure to help children with visual and hearing disabilities, with a view to guiding the progressive establishment of sound sign language and Braille education 
in ordinary schools. In addition to inadequate provision of sign language and Braille education in schools, the provision of sign language and Braille services in public service institutions and public places is also inadequate. Article 55 of the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities (amended in 2018) states that, “Public service institutions and public places shall provide information exchange services such as voice and text cues, sign language and Braille for persons with disabilities.” Limited by low financial investment, there are few public institutions and places that can provide information exchange services for persons with disabilities. As some scholars have said, inadequate protection of the right of spoken and written languages will have a wide ripple effect on constitutional rights such as cultural rights, equal rights, freedom of expression, right to education, and right to employment.21 This is also a realistic projection of the cultural ecology of spoken and written languages. In conclusion, a lack of proper guidance for sign language and Braille in society has led to the loss of the concept of value in the cultural ecology for the protection of sign language and Braille, and the right of spoken and written languages of persons with disabilities have not yet become the “top priority” in the system of protecting the rights and interests of persons with disabilities.
 
C. The cultivation dimension: The slow development of sign language and Braille education
 
Sign language is a recognized language, which is unique and conforms to language rules. Although the recognition of language rules in Braille requires a high degree of expertise, its application conforms to the rules of written language and can be used as a special recognized language. However, things that conform to the rules of spoken and written languages are not necessarily applied and popularized in society. To realize the widespread use of sign language and Braille, it is necessary to design an educational system that caters to the demand of the times according to the basic laws of the popularization and application of spoken and written languages. At present, the discipline of sign language and Braille in China has had a late start, accompanied by the slow development of related education. There is a severe shortage of professionals engaged in the research, standardization, and promotion of sign language and Braille; the research foundation is weak, and the level of research and promotion services needs to be improved.22 Take sign language education as an example, according to statistics, there are more than 20 million hearing and speech-persons with disabilities in China, which leads to a huge demand for sign language interpreters, but at present, only Zhengzhou University of Technology, Nanjing Normal University of Special Education, Yingkou Vocational and Technical College, and Zhejiang Vocational College of Special Education offer sign language interpreting majors, training less than a thousand specialist sign language interpreters. There is a lag in sign language or Braille education in China, which is in sharp contrast to South Korea and the United States, which have established complete certification, dispatch, and service systems for sign language interpreters. According to public reports, in Nanjing, there is only one sign language interpreter for an average of 2,000 people with hearing and speech disabilities. The lack of sign language interpreters makes it particularly difficult for people with visual and hearing disabilities to participate in social affairs. For example, in the use of medical resources, many people with visual and hearing disabilities find it difficult to effectively communicate with medical staff, resulting in a generally low willingness to seek medical treatment, and even a dilemma where “they will not go to the hospital unless they are seriously ill, until a minor illness develops into a serious disease, while a serious disease develops into a terminal disease.”23 In contrast, South Korea, which has 300,000 deaf people, has set up nearly 200 sign language interpretation centers with three to six sign-language interpreters in each region, supported by the government. When people with visual and hearing disabilities need help, they can contact the Sign Language Interpretation Center, and the Center will send a sign language interpreter to the site to provide free sign language interpretation.24 In terms of education, colleges and universities in South Korea are actively offering programs in sign language translation, among which the Korea Nazarene University offers programs in sign language translation at both undergraduate and master levels.China must pay more attention to sign language and Braille education, so as to ensure the practical needs of people with visual and hearing disabilities to participate in activities at a deeper level.
 
III. The Logic of Rule of Law for Clarifying Sign Language and Braille as Forms of the National Standard Spoken and Written Languages
 
A. Are sign language and Braille “a component” of or “a supplement” to the standard spoken and written language?
 
The National Action Plan for the Standardization of Sign Language and Braille (2015-2020), issued in 2015, emphasizes “clarifying the legal status of national common sign language and Braille.” To this end, in recent years, the Ministry of Education has widely solicited opinions on revising the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language.25 Based on online public resources,26 at present, the Ministry of Education has solicited opinions from the public at least twice, forming the first draft and the second draft respectively.27 In general, the two drafts made great changes to the current legal texts, while the second draft also made some adjustments to the first draft. The two drafts both clarified the legal status of sign language and Braille, but with an entirely different value orientation. The first draft defined sign language and Braille as “a component of the national standard language”, while the second draft defined sign language and Braille as “a supplement to the national standard language” and emphasized that sign language and Braille are special spoken and written languages used by people with visual and hearing disabilities. The first draft included sign language and Braille as a standard national language, while the second draft chose an alternative method and classified them as special languages other than the standard national language.
 
It is worth affirming that the revision of the two drafts set a clear orientation — to establish the legal status of sign language and Braille in China’s language standardization system, which is an epoch-making change. However, a careful examination will show that the approaches of the two revisions are still the same as before in the practical use of sign language and Braille. First, whether as a component of or as a supplement to the national standard spoken and written language, it is a reaffirmation of the practical status of sign language and Braille in the practice of spoken and written language standardization, which has not met the real needs of promoting the use of sign language and Braille. In other words, even without legislative amendments, sign language, and Braille, after the introduction of the Lexicon of Common Expressions in Chinese National Sign Language and the Chinese Common Braille Scheme, can enjoy an actual status similar to the component of or supplement to the standard national spoken and written language. Second, legal language should be rigorous, concise, and accurate, and also reflect and express the concept of legislation in an all-round and precise way, which is the basic requirement for the effective implementation of the law.28 It is difficult to distinguish the boundary between “component” and “supplement,” and it is also easy to cause trouble to law enforcement and justice. Finally, the second solicitation draft even reinforced the unidirectional function of sign language and Braille, which to a certain extent denies their instrumental value in the communication between able-bodied persons and persons with visual and hearing disabilities, and fails to provide effective jurisprudential support for the widespread application of sign language and Braille. To put it bluntly, if the revised Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language only confirms the existing status, but fails to strengthen the legal status of sign language and Braille, the revision will be of little significance. Only by defining sign language and Braille as a standard national spoken and written language can we fundamentally consolidate their legal status and establish a systematic structure for the protection of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities.
 
B. The institutional motivation to establish sign language and Braille as a standard national spoken and written language
 
1. Adapting to the new requirements of national economic and social development
 
The protection of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities has always been a key concern of the Party and the State, and it is a matter crucial to the national rejuvenation process. The establishment of sign language and Braille as forms of the standard national spoken and written language will mark a revolutionary shift in the protection of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, which helps to meet the new requirements of China’s economic and social development, mainly reflected in two aspects: internal and external.
 
First, internally, it will help optimize various institutions and mechanisms and reduce the cost of national governance. As mentioned earlier, sign language and Braille education have long been neglected in society, leaving little room for persons with disabilities to participate in social affairs. In various practices related to the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, special cases are handled on a case-by-case basis, which increases the costs and risks of governance. For example, in cases involving people with visual and hearing disabilities, special sign language or Braille translators need to be hired, which increases the cost of handling cases. Taking another example, when people with visual and hearing disabilities take the national professional qualification examination, the examination authority needs to provide special examination support staff for them, which not only increases the human cost but also breeds moral hazard. In this context, the establishment of sign language and Braille as a standard national spoken and written language will be oriented to guarantee the spoken and written language rights of persons with disabilities, optimize the national governance system in all aspects, facilitate the participation of people with visual and hearing disabilities in economic, political, cultural and social affairs, manifest the people-centered development philosophy, and consolidate the foundation of governance.
 
Second, externally, it will help better implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and enhance China’s international image in human rights protection. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, defines the rights of persons with disabilities to equality, non-discrimination, and equality before the law, and defines the value of sign language and Braille in promoting the equal rights of persons with disabilities with disabilities through several provisions. The successful adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is mainly due to the high attention paid by many countries to the legal status of sign language and Braille. Since the end of the 20th century, more and more countries have established sign language as an official language. As of August 2021, according to the latest statistics of the World Federation of the Deaf, 62 countries have adopted sign language legislation.29 Among the contracting parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 68 percent have recognized the legal status of sign language in that country.30 Driven by this, in 2018, the United Nations announced the establishment of two important holidays — “International Day of Sign Languages” on September 23 and “World Braille Day” on January 4. At the same time, many countries and regions increasingly attach importance to the legislation and popularization of Braille. Since the beginning of the 1980s, at least 30 states have introduced the “Blind Persons Act” to protect the right of people with visual disabilities to learn Braille.31 In 2017, South Korea was the first country to launch a “Braille Passport,” followed by the First Basic Plan for the Development of Braille (2019-2023), a national Braille development plan.32 China should follow the trend and establish sign language and Braille as forms of the standard national spoken and written language. On one hand, it can avoid the restriction of sign language and Braille by the standard spoken and written languages of other countries, and ensure that persons with disabilities in China can equally and fully enjoy their basic rights under the national governance system. On the other hand, it can demonstrate the exemplary effect of rights protection, further demonstrate the image of a responsible major country, and reinforce the centripetal force of building a community with a shared future for mankind.
 
2. Improving relevant legal systems and institutions
 
Establishing sign language and Braille as forms of the standard national spoken and written language will help ensure the integrated development of persons with disabilities and accelerate the progress of social civilization. It is an important measure to improve the relevant legal systems and institutions, mainly reflected in the following aspects:
 
First, it will help improve China’s legal system for spoken and written languages. For a long time, China’s legal system for spoken and written languages only covered the actual needs of able-bodied persons but ignored persons with disabilities. Many countries have incorporated sign language into their legal systems for spoken and written languages through the enactment of constitutions (e.g., the Constitution of Finland and the Constitution of New Zealand), special legislation (e.g., the Korean Sign Language Act, the Act on the Status of the Icelandic Language and Icelandic Sign Language), and comprehensive legislation (e.g., the Latvian Official Language Law and the Swedish Language Act), demonstrating the progress of social civilization through the reformation of language status. However, China’s laws and regulations on sign language and Braille are limited to normative documents, such as the Reply of the Ministry of Civil Affairs on The Implementation Measures of Special Education Allowance for Deaf and Dumb Sign Language Teachers and Interpreters After the Reform of the Capital System and the Notice of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, China Persons with disabilities’Federation and the Ministry of Education on the Promotion of National Common Sign Language and Braille, which shows issues including a low legal hierarchy and the vague legal status of sign language and Braille. Therefore, it is necessary to formulate special laws to clarify the status of sign language and Braille as a standard national spoken and written language, so as to improve the national legal system of spoken and written languages, so that persons with disabilities can more effectively share the fruits of the rule of law.
 
Second, it will help improve the system for protecting citizens’ basic rights. Establishing sign language and Braille as standard spoken and written language will not only help protect the basic rights of persons with disabilities but also help improve the system for protecting the basic rights of citizens. On the one hand, the clarification of the legal status of sign language and Braille helps to improve the system of persons with disabilities’ rights to participate in social affairs. The Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities explicitly stipulates that “where people with visual disabilities take various entrance examinations, occupational qualification examinations and appointment examinations held by the state, Braille or electronic examination papers shall be provided to them, or special workers shall be arranged to offer assistance.” China’s law provides an institutional guarantee for people with visual disabilities to participate in all kinds of examinations. However, in practice, sometimes the reality is contrary to the legislation. For example, in the 2017 National Judicial Examination (now the National Unified Legal Profession Qualification Examination), Qingdao Justice Bureau rejected the request of Wang Rui, a blind person, to provide a Braille version or readable screen electronic version of the examination paper because “special examination papers for blind people have not been issued.” After that rejection, Wang applied to the Ministry of Justice for information disclosure. After extensive media coverage, the Ministry of Justice eventually replied to Wang Rui that staff members could be arranged to assist him to attend the examination.33 In the national unified legal professional qualification examination, which is known as “The Top One Test in the World”, the implementation of the regulations on the protection of the rights and interests of people with visual and hearing disabilities is still so weak, it is not difficult to imagine that there is much room for improvement in the application of sign language and Braille in other social production and life affairs. Only by establishing the legal status of sign language and Braille as forms or the standard national language can the protection of persons with disabilities’ right to participate in social affairs be changed from “can be provided” to “must be provided.” On the other hand, the establishment of their legal status as forms of the standard spoken and written language is conducive to creating the concept of protecting the ecological value of sign language and Braille and improving the efficiency of the communication of people with visual and hearing disabilities. Empathy is the foundation for fostering the concept of protecting the ecological value of sign language and Braille, as well as the bridge to build a civilized society. The establishment of the status of sign language and Braille as forms of the standard national spoken and written language will help stimulate all sectors of the community to pay more attention to the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, and with the support of incentive mechanisms, it may set off a boom of learning sign language and Braille among the public, creating a social atmosphere of barrier-free communication and further reducing the cost of social governance.
 
Third, it will help promote the reform of the legal system of intellectual property rights. The Copyright Law of China includes written language works into the scope of intellectual property protection, but is limited by the ambiguous positioning of sign language and Braille works as “written language works”, there is very few works in Braille in China. Moreover, the ineffective communication between people with visual and hearing disabilities and the able-bodied, plus the insufficient social influences of the intellectual property works created by people with visual and hearing disabilities, also leads to a lack of endogenous motivation to conduct cultural creation using sign language and Braille. At the same time, due to the low utilization rate of sign language and Braille, able-bodied persons rarely use sign language and Braille to create intellectual property works, making it difficult to form an ecological culture in which sign language and Braille are widely used in society. Therefore, if sign language and Braille are given the status of the standard national spoken and written language, it will help stimulate the potential of the whole society to use sign language and Braille for cultural creation and make people’s cultural life more colorful and richer. With an increase in the number of sign language and Braille works on the market, there will be significant progress in the reform of the supporting intellectual property laws.
 
IV. The Rule of Law Approach to Determining Sign Language and Braille as Forms of the Standard National Spoken and Written Language
 
A. Consolidating the legal foundation for designating sign language and Braille as forms the standard national spoken and written language
 
1. Strengthening the publicity and guidance function of national policy for sign language and Braille 
 
National policy is a soft law that tends to be both flexible and directive in the national governance arena. At present, China’s national policies consist of three main types. First, the policies of the ruling party, such as the relevant policies in the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee. Second, the policies of the highest organs of state power and their permanent organs, such as the “Outline of the Plan for National Economic and Social Development” issued by the National People’s Congress. Third, the normative documents issued by the State Council and relevant departments of the central government, such as the Notice of the State Council on the Issuance of the Outline of the 13th Five-Year Plan for Accelerating the Well-being of Persons with disabilities and the Second National Action Plan for the Standardization of Sign Language and Braille (2021-2025). In view of the difficulty of establishing the value concept for the protection for sign language and Braille throughout the entire society in the short term, it is necessary for the relevant departments to further explore the reformative role of different levels of national policies in their respective power spaces and to strengthen the promotion and guidance of the value concept for the protection of sign language and Braille. Specifically, it is recommended that the China Persons with disabilities’ Federation, the Ministry of Education, the State Language Commission, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, and other central government departments take the lead in issuing normative documents promoting sign language and Braille to become accepted as the standard national spoken and written language. When effective results are achieved, the core content of the normative documents shall be elevated to the ruling Party’s policy, and when the time is ripe, the establishment of sign language and Braille as forms of the standard national spoken and written language can be incorporated into the outline of the plan for national economic and social development and legislative planning.
 
2. The constitutional foundation for establishing sign language and Braille as the standard national spoken and written language
 
From a top-level design point of view, is it necessary to adjust the Constitution, the fundamental law, to ensure the legal status of sign language and Braille as the standard national spoken and written language? The answer is no. First, the principles of equality and human rights protection have been established in Article 33 of the Constitution. All Chinese citizens can enjoy the rights prescribed by the Constitution and laws, which is the fundamental constitutional basis for the equal participation of people with visual and hearing disabilities in social affairs through sign language and Braille. Second, Article 19, paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of the Constitution provide that the state shall develop education, organize schools of all kinds as well as develop educational facilities of all kinds to educate workers in politics, culture, science, technology, and business. Paragraph 3 of Article 45 of the Constitution further specifies that the state and society help arrange for the work, livelihood, and education of the blind, the deaf-mute, and other citizens with disabilities. The above-mentioned constitutional provisions together provide a concrete constitutional basis for people with visual and hearing disabilities to participate in social affairs on an equal basis with the help of sign language and Braille. Finally, Paragraph 5 of Article 19 of the Constitution states, “The State shall promote the universal use of mandarin throughout the country.” From the perspective of constitutional dogma, such a stipulation can be justified from the two dimensions of linguistic economics (improving efficiency and promoting development) and linguistic politics (improving identity and social solidarity).34 Therefore, the clause in the Constitution on the promotion of Mandarin as the standard national language can serve as a constitutional basis for people with visual and hearing disabilities to participate in social affairs on an equal basis through sign language and Braille.
 
All in all, the Constitution seems to provide only equal communication rights for persons with disabilities among themselves. However, the goal of using sign language and Braille in daily life is not only to ensure communication between persons with disabilities but also to facilitate communication between the able-bodied and the disabled. It’s about equality between groups. If only the disabled know how to use sign language and Braille, but the able-bodied do not do so, how can the disabled participate in social affairs in a normal way? From this point of view, establishing the communicative right for the disabled is to better guarantee the realization of the communicative right for all citizens. In essence, sign language and Braille are approaches to ensuring people with visual and hearing disabilities can participate in social affairs normally, which naturally reflects their constitutional status. To ensure that this status is secure, the Constitution “goes to great lengths” to demonstrate the functionality of education for persons with disabilities; from the perspective of maintaining constitutional stability and the proper functioning of the constitutional order, there is no need to amend constitutional provisions, but rather to adopt a legal doctrinal approach to establish the constitutional status of sign language and Braille.
 
B. Building a dual legislative model for the legal status of sign language and Braille
 
Incorporating sign language and Braille as forms of the standard national spoken and written language will have a systematic impact on various institutional mechanisms of national governance. Public authorities will have to actively implement and guarantee the status of sign language and Braille as the standard national spoken and written language, which may increase the cost of governance in an immeasurable way. Perhaps due to this potential huge governance risk, the second draft of the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language reduced the legal status of sign language and Braille from “component” to “supplement” to avoid subsequent governance risks. Accordingly, in the process of legislation, the legal status of sign language and Braille can be established by ordinary laws, and then refined and systematized by administrative regulations with certain flexibility or local legislation on a pilot basis. At the same time, there can be some flexibility in the formulation of the supporting system. In the process of revising the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language, sign language and Braille can be directly defined as the standard national spoken and written language. However, in building a systematic structure, Mandarin and standardized Chinese characters should be the mainstay, supplemented by sign language and Braille. Meanwhile, to reinforce the legal status of sign language and Braille, it is necessary to further develop a series of measures aligned to the Law 
on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities. This paper focuses on how to stabilize the legal status of sign language and Braille as the standard national spoken and written language through legislative modes other than ordinary laws.
 
1. Refining the standardization of sign language and Braille through administrative regulations
 
According to Article 8 of the Legislation Law of the People’s Republic of China, the State Council, with the authorization of the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee, can regulate matters that have not yet been legislated through administrative regulations. However, the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language has already made it clear that the national standard spoken and written language in China is Mandarin and standardized Chinese characters. Therefore, before the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language establishes the status of sign language and Braille as forms of the national standard spoken and written language, based on the actual role of sign language and Braille in the national common language, administrative regulations can only recognize them as “the supplement to the national standard spoken and written language”, supported by an administrative system designed to match this status. However, after the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language establishes the status of sign language and Braille as forms of the standard national spoken and written language, the State Council can specially formulate administrative regulations for sign language and Braille and develop a more refined supporting management system. No matter whether the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language is revised or not, within the current constitutional framework, administrative regulations can play a multifaceted role in confirming the legal status of sign language and Braille, refine the standardization of sign language and Braille, and provide a connecting legal bridge for the constructing a systematic structure for the standardization of sign language and Braille, so as to actively guide local legislative bodies with the “first-in-trial” authority to conduct active explorations, and stabilize the legal status of sign language and Braille.
 
2. Setting sign language and Braille as forms of the standard national spoken and written language through the institutional practice of local legislation leading the way on a pilot basis
 
Admittedly, it is extremely difficult to establish sign language and Braille as forms of the standard national spoken and written language at the national legal level, which can be evidenced by the enormous difficulty with the revision of the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language. In addition to the preliminary explorations through national policies or administrative regulations, local legislation has the fullest momentum to conduct reforms on a pilot basis. However, not all places have the authority of “first-in-trial” to legislate. According to Article 13 of the Legislation Law, with the authorization of the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee, local authorities may temporarily adjust or temporarily suspend the application of some provisions of the law in respect of specific matters in administrative management and other fields. Therefore, authorized places can take the lead in exploring the establishment of sign language and Braille as the standard national spoken and written language. However, it should not be overlooked that the level of national rule of law restricts the level of local rule of law, and the establishment of the standard national spoken and written language is a matter of great importance, which often affects the overall situation, with a huge risk of reform and innovation. Legislation in many local places in China is facing huge challenges.35 Therefore, it is unrealistic to expect most places to establish sign language and Braille as the standard national spoken and written language and actively explore the systematic construction of sign language and Braille. Even so, within the existing framework of the rule of law, local governments can still legislate on sign language and Braille to suit their complementary status with reference to the regulatory approach of the above-mentioned administrative regulations, and since this legislative work needs no special authorization, so it is more likely to be realized. Before the fundamental position of sign language and Braille is established in the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language, the author believes that the socialist pilot demonstration zone with Chinese characteristics, as the “leader” of China in the new era to promote the reform of the rule of law, enjoys the full legislative authority of taking the lead in making a breakthrough in the legislation of sign language and Braille to include the status of sign language and Braille into the systematic structure of the administrative system as the standard national spoken and written language, and gradually shapes the value concept of protection for sign language and Braille covering the entire society, thus playing a leading and demonstration role in national legislation. Shenzhen has long been a national leader in protecting the rights and interests of persons with disabilities. It took the lead in proposing the creation of barrier-free cities and introduced the first barrier-free city construction standard in China — the Regulations on Barrier-free Cities of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. It can be seen that legislative work by Shenzhen to promote sign language and Braille as forms of the standard spoken and written language would have obvious advantages and is worth looking forward to.
 
C. Building incentive and restraint mechanisms for the promotion and use of sign language and Braille
 
1. Establishing an incentive mechanism to promote the use of sign language and Braille
 
At present, there are some shortcomings in the promotion of sign language and Braille, such as a lack of professionals, low social awareness, and insufficient funds, which are closely related to a lack of incentive mechanisms in the education system. From the perspective of social psychology, many able-bodied persons regard learning sign language and Braille as the exclusive behavior of persons with disabilities, showing misconceptions and a resistance to learning. Therefore, it is recommended to set up diversified incentive mechanisms to stimulate the endogenous motivation of the public to learn sign language and Braille. The author believes that the incentive mechanisms can be constructed in the following aspects: First, a free mechanism. Before the value concept of protection for sign language and Braille is formed in, be it the unified national general sign language and Braille grade test, or the training, certification, and dispatch service of sign language or Braille, they can all be included into the scope of vocational skills training, to let people who learn sign language and Braille enjoy the free treatment, and some subsidies can be given where conditions permit. Second, a promotion mechanism. Sign language and Braille skills can be used as the indicators in performance appraisal of personnel in special education institutions, public health institutions, public cultural service institutions, and social welfare institutions. The higher the skill level, the higher the indicator score. Third, a professional mechanism. Colleges and vocational middle schools can be encouraged to actively carry out various activities to promote the specialization of sign language and Braille education, including offering sign language translation majors, specialty courses, seminars, summer camps, etc. Students majoring in sign language translation can be given priority to choose whether to become “public-funded students in normal universities.” In addition, qualified colleges and universities can also set up postgraduate majors in sign language and Braille, and deepen the basic theoretical research of sign language and Braille.
 
2. Improving the restraint mechanism for the promotion and use of sign language and Braille
 
In view of the fact that sign language and Braille are not the most widely used everyday languages, the intention of recognizing sign language and Braille as forms of the standard national spoken and written language is to further protect the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, so we should avoid reverse discrimination and forcing everyone to learn sign language and Braille. When designing supporting systems, we should follow the basic principle of giving priority to the incentive mechanism, supplemented by the restraint mechanism. At the same time, the design of the restraint mechanism should follow the principle of proportionality, to minimize the loss of social public interests. The author believes that the restraint mechanism can include the following aspects. First, an access mechanism. In institutions involving the use of sign language or Braille, such as special education institutions, public health institutions, public cultural service institutions, social welfare institutions, and other institutions, a sign language or Braille primary certificate access system should be implemented to ensure recruits are regulated with the lowest professional requirements. Second, a supervision mechanism. At present, local spoken and written language working committees at all levels are deliberation and coordination bodies, lacking the qualification of law enforcement subjects, resulting in the limited overall protection of sign language and Braille. However, the supervisory responsibilities entrusted by the law to other departments are unclear, which sometimes leads to prevarication in the supervision of the standard national spoken and written language. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify the main body of supervision and the division of responsibilities, and further improve the supervision mechanism of the standard national spoken and written language. Third, a punishment mechanism. In view of the fact that the current Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language focuses on education and guidance, with relatively light legal consequences, the maximum punishment measures are limited to “give a warning and urging them to make corrections within a time limit,” which can lead to little effect in law enforcement. To sharpen the entire society’s understanding of sign language and Braille, it is necessary to set up administrative punishment measures with a stronger binding force in the revised Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language to increase the illegal cost. It is worth noting that the punishment is not targeted at the public who don’t learn sign language or Braille but for the personnel who illegally hinder the promotion and education of sign language or Braille.
 
V. Conclusions
 
People with visual and hearing disabilities account for the highest proportion of persons with disabilities. Whether they can communicate smoothly in sign language or Braille in daily life is an important manifestation of whether the rights and interests of persons with disabilities are guaranteed. Clarifying the legal status of sign language and Braille as forms of the standard national spoken and written language is the fundamental guarantee for the spoken and written language rights of people with visual and hearing disabilities, which will help them to participate in social affairs on an equal footing and further consolidate the great achievement of “building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way, with no one disabled person left behind.” At present, the positioning of sign language and Braille in China’s legal system is ambiguous, and the rights of people with visual and hearing disabilities tend to exist in name only. The embodiment of civilization should not be limited to the simple expression of legal norms but should be that the entire society and the entire system always provide people in need with heart-warming protection measures. Following the concept of the cultural ecology, establishing sign language and Braille as the standard national spoken and written language is only a standard form to promote social welfare, while truly building a civilized society depends on the public consciously fostering the value concept of ecological protection for the rights and interests of persons with disabilities. Only by forming this value concept can we provide comprehensive legal protection for the disabled and the able-bodied, and make every citizen feel the progress and warmth of society.
 
 (Translated by NIU Huizi)
 
* FENG Zehua ( 冯泽华 ), Co-cultivated Postdoctoral Fellow of Law School of Guangdong University of Finance and Economics and the Law School of Wuhan University. Doctor of Law. This paper is the periodical achievement of “Research on the Improvement and Perfection of Laws and Regulations System of National Spoken and Written Languages” (14JZD050) and “Research on Law-based Grassroots Consultative Governance from the Perspective of National Governance Modernization” (2019-GDXK-0005), a key scientific research project of Guangdong Province in 2019.
 
1. The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, “Equality, Participation and Sharing: 70 Years of Protecting the Rights and Interests of Persons with Disabilities in the PRC” (July 2019), People’s Daily, July 26, 2019.
 
2. Zheng Xuan and Zhao Yongshuai, “Sign Language Protection for Deaf People from the Perspective of Linguistic Rights: Challenges and Responses”, Human Rights 6 (2020): 13.
 
3. China Disabled Persons’ Federation, “Total Number of Disabled Persons in China at the End of 2010and the Number of Persons with Various Disabilities and Different Levels of Disabilities,” official website of China Disabled Persons’ Federation, accessed May 2, 2021, https://www.cdpf.org.cn//zwgk/zccx/cjrgk/15e9ac67d71243fb4a23b7e2ac739aa.htm.
 
4. Cheng Kai, “Promotion of National Standard Sign Language and Braille is a Basic Work for the Cause of the Disabled,” Disability Research 3 (2018); Jiang Dudu, “Yang Jiejun: Current Situation and Improvement of China’s Sign Language Legal System,” Disability Research 3 (2018).
 
5. Lin Hao et al., “International Comparative Study of Sign Language Legislation,” Application of Language and Words 2 (2018).
 
6. Yin Yue, “Sign Language Policy and Development of Sign Language Education in South Korea and Its Implications,” Language Policy and Language Education 1 (2018).
 
7. Xie Liufen, “Thoughts on the Necessity of Setting up Elective Courses of Sign Language in Colleges and Universities”, Journal of Guilin Teachers College 2 (2017).
 
8. Wang Xiuli, “Feasibility Analysis of the Promotion of Chinese Sign Language in Elective Courses in Colleges and Universities,” Contemporary Education Research and Teaching Practice 9 (2018).
 
9. Yang Xinhui, “Issues and Norms of Sign Language Translation System,” Teaching of Forestry Region 11 (2011).
 
10. Teng Weimin, “The Development and Reform of Braille in China,” Persons with Disabilities in China 10 (1998).
 
11. Sun Zhe, “The Origin, Development and Reform of Braille”, Intelligence 23 (2008).
 
12. Reagan Timothy, “Ideological Barriers to American Sign Language: Unpacking Linguistic Resistance,” 11 Sign Language Studies 4 (2011): 606-636.
 
13. Sherman E. Wilcox et al., “Language Policies and the Deaf Community,” in Cambridge Handbook of Language Policy (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 374-398.
 
14. Maartje De Meulder, “The Legal Recognition of Sign Languages,” 15 Sign Language Studies 4 (2015): 498-506.
 
15. Wheatley M. and A. Pabsch, Sign Language Legislation in the European Union (Brussels: European Union of the Deaf, 2012), 37.
 
16. Huang Zhecheng, “Zhou Ye, CPPCC Member: We Should Clarify the Legal Status of National Standard Spoken and Written Sign Language and Braille as Soon as Possible,” The Beijing News, May 21, 2020.
 
17. The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, “The CPC’s Great Practice of Respecting and Protecting Human Rights (the sixth week in 2021),” People’s Daily, June 25, 2021.
 
18. Wang Shichuan, “A 94-year-old Man Carried to Bank for Face Recognition: Whose Face Was Slapped?”, Guangming Online, accessed August 23, 2021, https://guancha.gmw.cn/2020-11/23/content_34393384.htm.
 
19. Julian Haynes Steward, Theory of Culture Change (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2013), 13.
 
20. Robert. F. Murphy, “Cultural and Social Anthropology: An Overture”, trans. Wang Zhuojun and Lu Tongji, (Beijing: The Commercial Press, 1991), 123.
 
21. Jiang Dudu, “Constructing the Basic Rights Model of Spoken and Written Language Legislation”, Nomocracy Forum 3 (2017): 53.
 
22. the National Action Plan for the Standardization of Sign Language and Braille (2015-2020).
 
23. Zhou Ming and Bai Xueyin, Only One Sign Language Interpreter for Every 2,000 Deaf People in Nanjing. How to Solve the “Difficulty in Seeing a Doctor,” Modern Express, August 21, 2020.
 
24. China Disabled Persons’ Federation, “Second Session of the 13th National People’s Congress No. 4325 Proposal and Handling Reply,” China Disabled Persons’ Federation website, accessed November 8, 2020, http://www.cdpf.org.cn/ywzz/wq_188/wqzt/2019lhtags/201911/t20191105_666407.shtml.
 
25. The Ministry of Education of PRC, “Reply to Recommendation No. 9113 of the Second Session of the 13th National People’s Congress,” accessed May 1, 2021, http://www.moe.gov.cn/jyb_xxgk/xxgk_jyta/jyta_yys/201911/t20191101_406381.html. 
 
26. In this article, it should be noted that in legislative practice, the relevant departments will predetermine a consultation time for the draft legislation to seek public opinions, and after the consultation time closes, the relevant public consultation documents will either remain on the internet or be withdrawn, and the opinion solicitation on the revision of the Law on National Standard Spoken and Written Language belongs to the latter category. The supporting documents available in this paper were obtained during the public solicitation for comments on the revision of the Law on The National Standard Spoken and Written Language. The second draft is still available on the website of Tianjin Medical University.
 
27. For the draft of the official document “Sichuan Provincial Language and Writing Committee,” see the Language and Writing Committee of Mianyang Normal University: “Notice on Organizing Opinion Solicitation on the Law of the National Standard Spoken and Written Language (Draft Revision) (Exposure Draft) and the Implementation Measures for the Law of the National Standard Spoken and Written Language (Draft) (Exposure Draft),”on the Mianyang Normal University website, http://www.mnu.cn/info/1017/9214.htm. Retrieved 2 May 2021. For the second draft, please refer to the President’s Office of Tianjin Medical University: “Notice on Opinion Solicitation on the Law of the National Standard Spoken and Written Language (Draft Revision) and the Implementation Measures for the Law of the National Standard Spoken and Written Language (Draft)” on the Tianjin Medical University website, accessed May 2, 2021, http://www.tmu.edu.cn/_upload/article/files/f2/89/4b82adc14f3790f7e3b1ea99d71/54004f3-fc7c-4e0c-88a1-1f5537878ff3.pdf.
 
28. Liu Pu, “Persons with Disabilities or Disabled Persons: The Expectable Conversion of Legal Terms,” Human Rights 6 (2019): 77.
 
29. World Federation of the Deaf, “The Legal Recognition of National Sign Languages,” accessed August 19, 2021, http://wfdeaf.org/news/the-legal-recognition-of-national-sign-languages/. 
 
30. Zheng Xuan and Zhao Yongshuai, “Sign Language Protection for Deaf People from the Perspective of Linguistic Rights: Challenges and Responses”, Human Rights 6 (2020): 16.
 
31. Kelly E. Lusk and Anne L. Corn, “Learning and Using Print and Braille: A Study of Dual-media Learners, Part 1,” 100 Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness 10 (2006): 1.
 
32. State Language Commission, Report on the State of World Language Life (2020) (Beijing: The Commercial Press, 2020), 3.
 
33. Wang Yu, “Reply of the Ministry of Justice to ‘Rejected Application for Braille Version of the National Judicial Examination’,” Beijing News, August 22, 2017.
 
34. You Chenjun, “Language Planning and Language Legislation in Contemporary China from the Perspective of National Capacity: From the Character Reform Movement to the Law on the National Standard Spoken and Written Language,” Thinking 1 (2021): 139-142.
 
35. Zou Pingxue and Feng Zehua, “The Internal Logic and Legislative Approach of the Construction of Rule of Law in Shenzhen, the Pilot Demonstration Zone of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics,” Journal of Shenzhen University (Humanities and Social Sciences Edition) 4 (2020): 35.
Chinese Dictionary:

@cn_humanrights

For the latest news and analysis from our

reporters and editors:Staff Twitter List>>

E-mail:chinahrs@public.bta.net.cn