Carrie Lam government submits draft bill to Legislative Council to implement changes brought by China last year
ANKARA (AA) – The local government in Hong Kong has submitted a draft amendment to the region’s Legislative Council and sought to criminalize insults to China’s national flag and emblem.
A statement by the council said Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday ordered that the National Flag and National Emblem (Amendment) Bill 2021 should be introduced in the council “to implement the relevant provisions in the amended Law” of China.
In October 2020, the Standing Committee of China’s 13th National People’s Congress had passed the amendments to the country’s National Flag Law and National Emblem Law and the move by Hong Kong government will effectively bring in same changes to the local law.
“The Bill proposes to prohibit a person from publicly and intentionally desecrating the national flag or national emblem by burning, mutilating, scrawling on, defiling or trampling on it or its image, or in any other way; and from intentionally publishing a desecration of the national flag or national emblem by burning, mutilating, scrawling on, defiling or trampling on it or its image, or in any other way, with intent to desecrate the national flag or national emblem,” the statement said.
It added any public and intentional “desecrating acts in relation to the national flag and national emblem committed in both real life and the virtual world would be an offence.”
Those found guilty of such an offense will face a fine and imprisonment of up to three years.
The new amendments are expected to be easily adopted by the Legislative Council.
On Tuesday, Lam said Hong Kong will also implement China’s anti-sanctions law through local legislation.
China implemented a national security law last year in July after the semi-autonomous region witnessed year-long anti-government demonstrations in 2019.