Hong Kong: Fights break out in legislature over anthem bill

Hong Kong: Fights break out in legislature over anthem bill

Hong Kong: Fights break out in legislature over anthem bill

In an interview with pro-Beijing publication Ta Kung Pao, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said last week the government would examine the future structure of the subject, which is part of the university entrance exams curriculum. Beijing has accused Kwok of blocking numerous bills from going to the full legislature for a vote, including a bill that will make it a criminal offense to disrespect China's national anthem.

On Monday - before the Legislative Council began - Mr Chan was in the chairman's seat, surrounded by more than 20 security guards. After scuffles and shouting matches led to Chan ejecting most of the pro-democracy lawmakers, the election took place, with pro-Beijing lawmaker Starry Lee winning easily. The Democrats chanted "foul play" and held a placard reading "CCP [China Communist Party] tramples HK legislature".

Pro-democracy legislators charged at security guards surrounding pro-establishment lawmaker Chan Kin-Por, who had taken the chairman's seat in the meeting against procedural objections by the opposition.

Pro-Beijing MP Martin Liao said: 'It's painful to watch and it's saddening to see a legislative assembly degenerate into this level of behaviour'.

Eddie Chu, one of the lawmakers, told the BBC: 'If Hong Kong was a democracy we would not need to start scuffles like this.

The bill sparked violent protests, some of which turned violent, in Hong Kong and was later scrapped.

"Some immature students have been tricked into use by the anti-China forces and have become pawns to disrupt Hong Kong".

Social distancing amid the pandemic has largely put a brake on protests since January, but demonstrations are expected to resume later this year with the outbreak coming under control.

That bill, which was eventually withdrawn, also sparked fights in the legislature before the political unrest exploded onto the streets.

The bill was introduced previous year in response to fans regularly booing the anthem during soccer matches.

In April 15 activists were arrested, including veteran politicians, a publishing tycoon and senior barristers.

US Secretary of State Micheal Pompeo warned China on Sunday that the United States could review Hong Kong's status in view of alleged interference by the Beijing with the work of American journalists in Chinese autonomous region.

Pompeo announced on May 6 that the State Department was delaying a report to Congress assessing whether Hong Kong enjoyed sufficient autonomy from China to continue receiving special treatment from the United States.

A Xinhua commentary late last Friday said Hong Kong schools had failed to "decolonise" and that the territory's education system had not developed in line with the "one country, two systems" rule.

Under a deal agreed with Britain before the city's return to China, Hong Kong has a partially elected legislature and certain freedoms that are unseen on the authoritarian mainland until 2047.

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