China extends national anthem law to Hong Kong and Macau

  1. China passed a new law for Hong Kong and Macau, making disrespect of national anthem punishable with prison time

Xi Jinping at National People’s Congress

China’s parliament passed a law on November 4 banning disrespect of its national anthem in Hong Kong and Macau, two regions under China with a high degree of autonomy.

The anthem law had been put into effect on China’s mainland on October 1, where a fifteen-day sentence in police detention was mandated for anyone who mocked the anthem.

Last month, football fans in Hong Kong booed the anthem at a qualifying match against Malaysia, in what The New York Times called “a protest of Beijing’s growing influence.” The protesters either booed or turned their back when the national anthem was playing, according to The New York Times. 

What they did then with impunity is now illegal. The new law means those who disrespect the anthem could face up to three years in jail.

Under the new law China’s national anthem, ‘The March of the Volunteers,’ can no longer be played as background music in public, or in private situations if it is deemed inappropriate, as reported by VOA. It is also barred from being played at weddings or parties. Xinhua, the news outlet of China, reported that those convicted of this crime may also lose their political rights.

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