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Activists holding a candlelit remembrance outside Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2020, to mark the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong’s legislature approved a bill Thursday that makes insulting the "March of the Volunteers," the Chinese national anthem, illegal, AP reports.

Why it matters: It did so on the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, when Chinese troops opened fire on pro-democracy activists in 1989. The death toll has never been released, but estimates vary between hundreds and thousands.

  • The ban follows the passage of a new national security law for Hong Kong that criminalizes rebellion, foreign influence and secession in the Asian financial hub.

The big picture: The pro-democracy minority of the legislature believes the law infringes on Hong Kongers' freedom of expression and is another consequence of Beijing’s tightening control over the territory.

  • The pro-Beijing majority said the law is necessary for citizens to show appropriate respect for the anthem.

Thought bubble, via Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: The ban is an intentional slap in the face to Hong Kong residents who have placed great value on the city's traditional freedoms. It's also a show of power. Beijing has openly revealed itself as dictating Hong Kong's laws.

What's next: From now on, those found guilty of abusing the “March of the Volunteers” may face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 50,000 Hong Kong dollars ($6,450).

Go deeper: Hong Kong's economic future hangs in the balance

Go deeper

Aug 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Eric Trump says Democrats view the U.S. as "the source of the world's problems"

The president's son Eric Trump tore into Democrats Tuesday evening, saying the party believes "America is the source of the world's problems" during his GOP Convention speech.

Details: "As a result, they believe the only path forward is to erase history and forget the past. They want to destroy the monuments of our forefathers ... They want to disrespect our National Anthem by taking a knee, while our armed forces lay down their lives every day to protect our freedom," he said.

Donald Trump Jr.'s dark prediction: Silent majority could become "silenced majority"

Donald Trump Jr. in Phoenix, Arizona, June 23. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr. touted his father's response to the coronavirus pandemic and invoked the idea of "cancel culture" in his headline speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday.

Details: He warned that "Joe Biden and the radical left are also now coming for our freedom of speech and want to bully us into submission," adding:  "If they get their way, it will no longer be the 'silent majority,' it will be the "silenced majority.'"

Taiwan leader confirms U.S. troops on island training forces

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei earlier this month. Photo: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen told CNN Thursday that a small number of American troops are on the island for training purposes and she has "faith" the U.S. would defend the democracy against a Chinese military attack.

Why it matters: This is the first time a Taiwanese leader has publicly acknowledged the presence of U.S. troops on the self-governing island since the last U.S. garrison left in 1979, when Washington switched formal diplomatic recognition to Beijing.