Li Yuxian said the lyrics in China's current anthem, March of the Volunteers, is out of date and he suggested replacing it with a song featured in a CCTV documentary aired for the National Day parade to celebrate the 60th anniversary of New China's founding, cnwest.com, the news portal of Shaanxi Province, reported Thursday.
Wu Yong of Shanghai, told the Global Times Thursday that the national anthem is a symbol of a country's national spirit, and should not be replaced without a compelling reason.
The present national anthem was composed by Nie Er to a text by Tian Han and was used to encourage Chinese people to resist the Japanese invasion between the 1930s and 1940s.
The song was selected as the national anthem in 1949, the Xinhua News Agency said.
The lyrics in the song motivate people to resist difficulties, many say. One line, "Brave the enemy's fire, March On!" is particularly popular.
However, Li said such a line is outdated because "with the use of advanced military technology and weapons, we do not need soldiers to march against shellfire nowadays."
He was quoted as saying, "Although some of our weapons still lag behind advanced countries, some of them are in a leading and pioneering positions."
He referred to a line in the documentary song, "No one can stop the Chinese army," and said it adequately reflects the development and the military strength of the country, and the morale of Chinese people.