London-born Nico Yennaris said he was "very proud" after becoming the first foreign-born footballer to represent China in their 2-0 victory over the Philippines on Friday.
The former Arsenal and Brentford player started the match in Guangzhou.
He qualifies for China through his mother and changed his nationality when he joined Chinese Super League leaders Beijing Guoan at the start of the year.
Midfielder Yennaris, 26, is a former England youth international.
"I learnt [the national anthem] when I first came so it's step by step," he said.
"I'll continue my studies and hopefully in a few months I'll be able to do an interview in Chinese maybe."
Wu Xi opened the scoring for China in the first half, before Zhang Xizhe doubled their lead after the break. Yennaris was substituted in the 55th minute.
China host Tajikistan in another friendly on Tuesday.