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National Anthem Law deserves practical HK respect

By Yang Chuchu (People's Daily)    09:22, December 18, 2017

The Hong Kong College of Technology (HKCT) . Photo: HKCT website

At the graduation ceremony for the Hong Kong College of Technology (HKCT) on December 16, two graduates refused to stand during the playing of China’s national anthem.

Prior to the ceremony, school officials had informed the graduating students of the rules for behavior during the event and especially during the playing of China’s anthem.

When the moment came to stand and listen to “March of the Volunteers,” China’s national anthem, the two students in question remained seated, and it was then turned off.

School officials paused the ceremony due to the disrespectful actions displayed by the two students who were then ordered to leave. As they were walking out, about a dozen students followed them in a show of solidarity. Twenty minutes later, the ceremony resumed.

After the incident, HKCT President Chan Cheuk Hay spoke with the graduates involved.

“As a university that loves both its motherland and Hong Kong, HKCT will always remain patriotic,” Chan said. He emphasized that if students are not aware of the school’s position, then they have chosen the wrong university.

Last month, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress included the National Anthem Law, which went into effect on October 1, into Article 3 of the Basic Laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The law states that when China’s national anthem plays at government events, formal ceremonies and sporting events, among other occasions, Chinese citizens are to stand, behave solemnly, and act respectfully throughout the anthem.

The National Anthem Law is practical and easy to understand. For those in Hong Kong who have been acting disrespectfully while China’s anthem is played, especially at sporting events, need to stop kowtowing to Western behavior for the sake of foreign media attention.

The two students and the others who followed them out of the ceremony spoiled the day for the young graduates and their family members who came to see their child, grandchild, niece or nephew, walk across the stage and receive a diploma from HKCT. It was a selfish act and a failed attempt at tarnishing the importance of academic achievement and what it means to start a new life.  

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Liang Jun)

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