National Anthem Law legislation an obligation
Updated: 2017-08-30 06:02
The National People's Congress Standing Committee recently deliberated over the draft National Anthem Law and plans to introduce the legislation to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macao Special Administrative Region via Annex III of the two SARs' Basic Laws. A proposal to add a national anthem law legislation clause in Annex III of the two SARs' Basic Laws will be voted on at an NPCSC session in Beijing in October.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Tuesday morning said the HKSAR Government would introduce Hong Kong's own national anthem legislation the same way it did the National Flag Law and National Emblem Law legislations, according to relevant provisions in the Basic Law.
As an inalienable part of China the HKSAR is obligated to implement certain national laws by way of its own legislation in accordance with the Basic Law, such as the National Flag Law and National Emblem Law. Once the NPCSC has approved the National Anthem Law it is a matter of time before the HKSAR passes its own relevant legislation. Those national laws are the embodiment of "one country" in the "one country, two systems" principle. They, therefore, apply in the HKSAR and Macao SAR in the form of local laws.
It should be noted that China is not the first or the only country in the world to have adopted its own national anthem laws. India and the United States, both common law societies like Hong Kong, have their own national anthem laws, even though their details are quite different. In the US, people must behave as required by the anthem law when they sing it. India's national legislature introduced a law not long ago requiring audience members to stand at attention when the national anthem is played in cinemas before movie presentations. All those rules are designed to instill patriotism in the citizens; foreign nationals are expected to follow suit to show respect to the host nation. Respect is most valuable when it is mutual.
As a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong has no excuse whatsoever not to embrace certain national laws according to the Basic Law. This is because they are conducive to implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle in the SAR. They can help enhance the sense of national identity and pride among Chinese citizens everywhere in the country, including Hong Kong and Macao.
(HK Edition 08/30/2017 page7)