HK radio ‘to play Chinese national anthem every morning from mid-Nov’ to enhance natl identity among residents

A street in Hong Kong Photo: VCG

Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) plans to broadcast Chinese national anthem on its radio channels at 8:00 am every day from November 16, Hong Kong media Ming Pao said on Friday.

The plan was made based on the RTHK Charter, which says this public radio is to fulfill the purposes of promoting understanding of the concept of “One Country, Two Systems” and its implementation in Hong Kong, as well as engendering a sense of citizenship and national identity among Hong Kong residents, Amen Ng Man-yee, head of corporate communications and standards at RTHK, told local media.

The broadcasting is “needed,” Ng said, adding that RTHK’s TV channels have been playing the national anthem each day ahead of news programs.

The broadcasting plan drew wide attention in Hong Kong on Saturday. Some locals reached by the Global Times said they support it, which they think can help increase a sense of nationhood especially among youngsters.

It’s perfectly normal for a person to listen to and sing his country’s national anthem, said a resident surnamed Cheung who works in the city’s Kwun Tong district. “I feel touched and proud when hearing our national anthem particularly at some big international occasions, like the Olympic Games,” she told the Global Times Saturday.

It’s a good thing that Hong Kong’s public radio and TV stations broadcast national anthem, which helps cover the city’s deficiency in social construction and education, said Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan studies at Nankai University in Tianjin.

Having long been permeated with an outdated colonial culture, the Hong Kong society lacks enough understanding of and identification with the country, which has to some extent exacerbated conflicts and rifts between different people, Li said.

“With a biased, excessive emphasis on the ‘confrontation’ between concepts of civil society and national identity, some Hong Kong people have little respect for the country,” Li told the Global Times on Saturday, saying it has been a noticeable problem in Hong Kong’s community governance.

Months earlier, lawmakers in Hong Kong passed the National Anthem Ordinance with 41 voting in favor of the bill and one against after three readings. The ordinance, containing clauses on encouraging the promotion of national anthem in sound broadcasting and television programs, came into effect in Hong Kong on June 12.

National anthem is a symbol and sign of a country, Li said. The promotion of Chinese national anthem, therefore, is a better-late-than-never step to help local residents build a deeper understanding of China, including its history and current growth, which will contribute to Hong Kong’s social stability and orderly development, he said.

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