Central News Agency (CNA) reported that Hong Kong authorities have enacted the National Anthem Law Bill, which stipulates that China’s national anthem must be played during the swearing in ceremony of the Chief Executive, members of the Executive Council, Legislative Council Members, and judicial officers. Radio Television Hong Kong quoted the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau as saying that the draft is close to being completed and will be submitted to the Legislative Council for initial review as early as next year. The draft also stipulates that anyone who arbitrarily falsifies the national anthem or sings the national anthem in a distorted or derogatory manner can be sentenced to a maximum of three years and a fine of HK$50,000 (US$6,399). The draft also mentions that “middle schools and elementary schools should teach students to sing the national anthem” but there are no specified penalties.
In recent years, since people in Hong Kong started to advocate “Hong Kong independence” or “self-determination,” many would boo China’s national anthem when it was played during certain events such as a soccer game. This has caused Beijing to pay close attention to the issue of using laws to legalize China’s national anthem.
Source: Central News Agency, December 14, 2018