Sport, Revolution and the Beijing Olympics

By Grant Jarvie; Dong-Jhy Hwang et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Reform, Opening Up and Making Sense
of Modern Sport in China

Introduction
Modern China continues to be heavily influenced by international thought but the strength of China's own traditions means it is increasingly developing on its own terms. The issues outlined in this chapter broadly emphasize the extent to which sport in China has developed, opened up and reformed since at least the 1980s, but also that the challenge of China remains the tension between the pursuit of both globalization and democracy. This provides the context for a discussion about sport in Modern China in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In today's China it is tempting to suggest that pragmatism may have replaced triumphing over other ideologies. The essence of such a view is captured in Deng Xiaoping's cat theory which implies that it does not matter whether the cat is white or black or red – as long as it catches the mice it is a good cat. For many Chinese people it does not matter whether the cat is socialism with Chinese characteristics or capitalism with Confucian colours – as long as it works for China's development it is likely to be viewed as a good-ism.The structure of China's sports administration has undergone radical reform. As of March 1998 the General Administration of Sport was established under a resolution passed by the commissioners of the National People's Congress (NPC), with the former Physical Culture and Sports Committee of the Central Government being reformed to become the General Administration of Sport. A further non-official organization, the All-China Sports Federation, remains closely aligned to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and thus the organization and governance of sport in China is monitored primarily by two organizations, one being effectively a legal governance unit and the other being primarily a financial accountant monitoring sports provision. The main duties of the General Administration of Sport are:
i. to study and develop policies, plans, and regulations for sport
ii. to guide and promote the reformation of the sports system
iii. to help the nation stay in good health, popularize sports activities,

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