Hong Kong residents who boo the Chinese national anthem might soon face up to three years in prison.
China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, is extending a law on disrespecting the anthem to semi-autonomous Hong Kong and Macau.
Hong Kong’s government, dominated by Beijing loyalists, has begun including it in local legislation. The anthem has been booed at recent football fixtures in Hong Kong, where anti-Beijing sentiment has been rising.
Democracy activists fear the new law could be used to undermine freedom of expression in the territory, which enjoys freedoms not seen on the mainland.
Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has a separate legal system so it is too early to say whether the punishment for mocking the anthem will be as severe as the current Chinese law, the BBC’s Juliana Liu in Hong Kong says.
The new law, enacted by China in September, is expected to pass Hong Kong’s legislature without difficulty.