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China: Push to make disrespecting Chinese national anthem a crime in Hong Kong

25 January 2019
A controversial bill making it a crime to disrespect the Chinese national anthem has been presented to lawmakers in Hong Kong.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

 

A controversial bill making it a crime to disrespect the Chinese national anthem has been presented to lawmakers in Hong Kong on 23 January 2019, reported Reuters.

Anyone who publicly and intentionally disrespects the March of the Volunteers anthem could be jailed for three years and fined HK$50,000 (about 5,600 euros) under the bill introduced to the Legislative Council.

The bill also stipulates that schoolchildren—including those in international schools—must learn the Chinese national anthem.

The former British territory was handed over to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula.

Concerns have been raised that the bill is another example of Beijing “trying to exert its influence on the former British colony”, according to Voice of America

The bill is expected to be voted on and passed before summer 2019.

In October 2018, Chinese live-streaming star Yang Kaili (also known as Li Ge) was detained by Chinese authorities for five days for “insulting” the country’s national anthem.

During a live stream, Kaili smiled at the camera and waved her arms in the air as if conducting an orchestra. She then sang a garbled snippet of the March of the Volunteers

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