China is considering on passing a national law that would regulate halal food in the country. The regulation on halal food had been a cause of hostility in some areas as majority of Han Chinese oppose it.
The legal provision of halal food was under consideration since 2002. Now Beijing is considering on drafting a halal law after 13 years. The Ethnic Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s legislative chamber believes that a national law on halal food is “reasonable and necessary” as it relates to “national unity and social stability,” UCA News reports. At present, there’s no national law governing halal food. China depends on different regional standards that is hindering the country’s plan for exporting halal commodities. The move has caused Muslims in China to protest.
“Halal legislation violates the principal of separation of state and religion,” Xi Wuyi, an expert on Marxism at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, wrote on her Weibo account. The regulation on halal food has stirred an outcry even on the Chinese intellectuals.
Local governments, including Ningxia and Shanghai have strong regulations on halal food. Based on Islamic law, pork and alcohol are prohibited. The method of slaughtering an animal is also written. However, in some places the regional regulations on halal food are not followed. Some local governments have been negligent that made some Muslims fume. Last year, Muslim residents in Xi’an, an ancient capital in central China disputed on the sale of alcohol in halal restaurants, according to The New York Times.
“Halal food is considered to be healthy and hygienic, given the high standards for manufacturers,” Joy Huang, China research manager at Euromonitor International told CNBC. “Non-Muslims think that [halal food] is safer, given the number of food safety scandals in China,” she added.
The passing of a national law governing halal food in China had something to do with the booming halal products in the worldwide market. Based on a report by Dubai Chamber of Commerce the burgeoning market for halal food by 2018 would be worth $1.6 trillion. China only has 26 million Muslims that represent just 2% of China’s total population. However, the country is moving ahead with its One Belt One Road” project that aims to promote halal trade with Arab and Muslim nations. Given the projects, researches and infrastructures devoted to promote halal food, China is undeniably on the road to selling its own Chinese-manufactured halal food products.
Originally published on www.lawyerherald.com