New law issued as part of President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on disloyalty to the state alarms democracy movements in Hong Kong and Macau

China has made disrespect of the national anthem a crime punishable by up to three years in jail, as it focuses on cementing the patriotic “China dream” of its increasingly authoritarian president, Xi Jinping.

The new law is likely to alarm citizens of Hong Kong and Macau, where the March of the Volunteers has been a flashpoint for unrest, amid growing concerns about Beijing’s efforts to exert its control over the city states.

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