HKSAR's chief executive signs the National Anthem Bill passed by the Legislative Council, June 11, 2020. (Courtesy of the official website of the HKSAR government)
HONG KONG, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam Thursday signed the National Anthem Ordinance passed by the Legislative Council (LegCo) in accordance with Article 48(3) of the Basic Law of the HKSAR.
The National Anthem Ordinance will come into immediate effect after it is published in the Gazette on Friday.
"I am pleased that the National Anthem Ordinance will be gazetted and come into effect tomorrow, signifying the fulfilment of the constitutional responsibility of the HKSAR and reflecting the spirit of 'one country, two systems'," Lam said.
Lam said that like the national flag and the national emblem, the national anthem is the symbol and sign of the nation. As an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China, the HKSAR is duty-bound to preserve the dignity of the national anthem through legislation.
"I hope that members of the public will respect the national anthem of their own volition, hence the promotion of the national anthem is of paramount importance. To let our next generation understand the history and spirit of the national anthem and to observe the etiquette for the playing and singing of the national anthem, the Education Bureau will update its learning and teaching resources and issue directions to schools through circulars to support schools in teaching students," Lam said.
The National Anthem Ordinance provides for the playing and singing, protection and promotion of the national anthem to preserve the dignity of the country, enhance the sense of national identity among citizens and promote patriotism.
The offences stipulated in the Ordinance only concern the misuse of the national anthem, or public and intentional acts with an intent to insult the national anthem, according to the HKSAR government's press release.
China's National Anthem Law came into force in the mainland in 2017 and then the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress adopted the decision to add the law to Annex III to the HKSAR Basic Law.
In accordance with Article 18 of the Basic Law, the national laws listed in Annex III to the Basic Law shall be applied locally by way of promulgation or legislation by the HKSAR.
The LegCo finished the first reading and second reading of the National Anthem Bill in January 2019 and May 2020 respectively, and the bill was passed on June 4 this year.