Taiwan authorities voice concern at ‘National Anthem Bill’

The Cabinet-level administrative agency responsible for policies between Taiwan and China expressed concern at the “National Anthem Bill” for curtailing Hong Kong people’s freedom of speech and expression

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC, 陸委會) expressed concern on Thursday at the passage of the “National Anthem Bill” (國歌條例草案) for further curtailing Hong Kong people’s freedom of speech and expression.

The new bill was adopted earlier that day amid confrontations at the legislature by pro-democracy lawmakers who staged a protest and raised placards in opposition to the bill.

According to the MAC, a cabinet-level administrative agency responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of policies between Taiwan and China, people’s trust in the Hong Kong government has declined sharply.

The MAC warned that relevant parties should avoid abusing their power to enforce the new law in the future.

The bill would make it illegal to insult the Chinese national anthem, as an infringement on freedom of expression and the greater rights that residents of the semi-autonomous city have compared to mainland China.

The legislative session coincided with June 4, the 31st anniversary of China’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Before the debate began, pro-democracy lawmakers stood in silence to mark the anniversary and put up signs on their desks that said “Do not forget June 4, the hearts of the people will not die.”