(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
BEIJING - China's largely rubber-stamp parliament formally extended a law banning disrespect of the national anthem on Saturday to cover Hong Kong, a move that critics have said undermined the Chinese-ruled city's autonomy and freedoms.
In the past few years, some Hong Kong football fans have booed the national anthem during World Cup qualifiers and other matches, mirroring protests in the United States where football players knelt during the national anthem, a practice denounced by US President Donald Trump.
China passed a new law in September mandating up to 15 days in police detention for those who mock the "March of the Volunteers" national anthem, a law that also covers the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau but was not immediately given a legal basis for enforcement there.
The National Anthem Law, which went into effect on Oct. 1, has now been included in an annex of Hong Kong's Basic Law, or mini constitution, state news agency Xinhua said. It will also be included in an annex of Macau's Basic Law, Xinhua reported.