Lawmakers are drafting a national anthem law which would formally ban the song from being played at "non-political functions" such as entertainment events and funerals, the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee said Monday.
The draft law is expected to be submitted for its first reading at the bimonthly session of the NPC Standing Committee scheduled for June, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The authorities issued a regulation on proper national anthem etiquette in 2014, banning the song from being performed at weddings, funerals and entertainment activities held at ballrooms or other non-political functions.
Yu Hai, former director of the Chinese Military Band of the People's Liberation Army and member of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, has advocated legislation on the national anthem for 10 years, said Xinhua.
According to Yu, the draft enshrines these restrictions and related punishments in law as well as defines the "standard" version of the anthem. It will also make it illegal to use the anthem as a mobile phone ringtone and ban the performance of its versions with the lyrics changed.
"In recent years, there have been cases of misuse of the national anthem, which are utterly disrespectful," Yu said, adding that making a law on the national anthem would also impart patriotism education to Chinese citizens, especially youngsters.
The national anthem of China is "March of the Volunteers," with music composed by Nie Er and lyrics written by poet Tian Han in 1935.
China adopted laws on its national flag and national emblem in 1990 and 1991, respectively, said Xinhua. Under China's Advertisement Law, the national anthem is off limits to advertisers.