HK LAWMAKERS WANT TO LEGISLATE RESPECT FOR CHINA’S NAT’L ANTHEM
Hong Kong’s legislature is moving forward on a controversial bill that would criminalize the abuse of China’s national anthem, which critics insist is akin to enacting lese majeste laws in a territory that is supposed to be autonomous and subject to its laws until 2047.
In a story written by Greg Torode of Reuters on May 27, 2020, he said a second reading of the bill is being held in the legislature on Wednesday, with protesters expected to converge outside the legislative building.
If passed into law, Hong Kong’s National Anthem Bill will govern the use and playing of the Chinese national anthem. Protesters and pro-democracy politicians say the bill represents the latest sign of what they see as accelerating interference from Beijing in the freewheeling former British colony.
This includes provisions that threaten to punish those who insult the anthem with up to three years jail and/or fines of up to HK$50,000 ($6,450). The bill states that “all individuals and organizations” should respect and dignify the national anthem and play it and sing it on “appropriate occasions.” It also orders that primary and secondary school students be taught to sing it, along with its history and etiquette. The Chinese national anthem has been booed at several events, including football matches.