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China: National Flag

Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ

March of the Volunteers

The “March of the Volunteers”, originally titled the “March of the Anti-Manchukuo Counter-Japan Volunteers” has been the official national anthem of the People’s Republic of China since 1978. Unlike previous Chinese state anthems, it was written entirely in vernacular Chinese, rather than in Classical Chinese.

The Japanese invasion of Manchuria saw a boom of nationalistic arts and literature in China. This song had its lyrics written first by the communist playwright Tian Han in 1934, then set to melody by Nie Er and arranged by Aaron Avshalomov for the communist-aligned film Children of Troubled Times (1935). It became a famous military song during the Second Sino-Japanese War beyond the communist faction, most notably the Nationalist general Dai Anlan designated it to be the anthem of the 200th Division, who fought in Burma. It was adopted as the PRC’s provisional anthem in 1949 in place of the “Three Principles of the People” of the Republic of China (1912–1949) and the Communist “Internationale”. In the Cultural Revolution, Tian Han was criticized and placed in prison, where he died in 1968. The song was briefly and unofficially replaced by “The East Is Red”, then reinstated but played without lyrics, restored to official status in 1978 with altered lyrics, and finally the original version was restored in 1982.

Source:China National Anthem