China

China to ban use of national anthem at weddings

Gold medallists from China sing the national anthem during the award ceremony for the men's basketball gold medal match at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou on November, 2010. Image copyright AFP
Image caption The national anthem may still be sung to celebrate Chinese victories in sports and athletics

China has banned the national anthem from being performed at weddings, funerals, commercial and other non-political events, state media reports.

Under new rules, the anthem is to be reserved for major political and diplomatic occasions, as well as places such as sporting arenas and schools.

The rules aim to "standardise proper etiquette" for the anthem, Xinhua news agency said, citing the authorities.

It said those who broke the rules would be "criticised and corrected".

According to Xinhua, a Communist Party statement had regulated the use of the anthem, which reflected "national independence and liberation, a prosperous, strong country and the affluence of the people".

For instance, the agency said, the anthem could be played when Chinese athletes won medals, and "at arenas where national dignity should be fought for and safeguarded".

China's anthem is known as The March of the Volunteers.

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