//The national anthem bill represents Xi’s ambition to create a single, unified polity based on his vision of what “One China” ought to be, a project that includes the ongoing mass incarceration of up to 1.1 million Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang and ceaseless attempts to threaten Taiwan into unification under “one country, two systems,” the same dubious framework in place for Hong Kong and Macau that evidently does not guarantee autonomy.
Beijing is not going to be able to resolve its relationship with Hong Kong, Taiwan or any other group in contention until the ruling Communist Party realizes that it must respect the people before demanding respect from them. Forcing us Hong Kongers to display a non-existent emotional connection comes at the expense of our own identity, which has been defined against that of China ever since the Cold War.
Here in Hong Kong, sitting and later kneeling during the national anthem now land you in jail for up to three years, in the likely scenario that the troubling National Anthem Ordinance, unveiled last week by the local government, is passed. It mandates that the Chinese national anthem be “played and sung in a way that is in keeping with its dignity” and not be used as “background music in a public space.” A person who “alters the lyrics or score” of the song or even performs it “in a distorted or disrespectful way” may also face criminal charges.//