The Tune of Li Zhongtang (simplified Chinese: 李中堂乐; traditional Chinese: 李中堂樂; pinyin: Lǐ Zhōng táng Yuè) is the first semi-official national song of China, written by Li Hongzhang in 1896 during the Qing dynasty. It also served as the imperial anthem for the dynasty.
In 1896, (the 22nd year of Guangxu), Li Hongzhang (李鴻章), Minister of Beiyang and Governor of Zhili, paid a diplomatic visit to Western Europe and Russia. As a national anthem was requested for the welcome ceremony, Li Hongzhang adopted a Tang dynasty poem by Wang Jian for the event.
Jīndiàn dāng tóu zǐgè chóng,
Xiānrén zhǎng shàng yù fúróng,
Taìpíng Tiānzǐ cháo tiān rì,
Wǔ sè yúnchē jià liù lóng.
In the Golden Palace, amongst the overlapping purple pavilions,
Like a jade lotus flower in an immortal's palm,
The Son of Heaven of Supreme Peace pays tribute to Heaven's sun,
In its five-colour chariot of clouds, drawn by six dragons.