Hong Kongers Wary as China Plans Stricter Anthem Controls

Hong Kongers Wary as China Plans Stricter Anthem Controls

What you need to know

What is in a song?

As China plans tighter controls to regulate the use of its national anthem, some Hong Kong netizens fear the move is targeting Hong Kong.

Chinese lawmakers are drafting a new bill to further regulate the use of the national anthem. The draft law will be submitted to the National People's Congress (NPC) in June, state media reports.

The move has been seen as a response to Hong Kong sports fans booing during the anthem in recent years.

The details of the new bill are not yet clear, but according to Chinese-language reports it will further regulate behavior on how the national anthem should be performed and at what events.

In 2014, authorities issued fresh regulations outlining proper etiquette for the national anthem. That included banning the song from being performed at weddings, funerals and entertainment activities such as balls or other non-political functions. The anthem is off limits to advertisers. The performance of the anthem is limited to official events such as international conferences and competitions, political summits and diplomatic forums.

Chinese authorities say that the intention of the new law is to ensure people’s respect for the anthem.

However, people in Hong Kong view the issue differently. Netizens have commented online that the new law appears to target pro-Hong Kong independence lawmakers and intimidate the general public in Hong Kong. Others question whether China’s new law will actually be enforceable in Hong Kong.

Editor: Olivia Yang