The obstacle to china's participation in the 1952 Olympic Games
was in essence a political problem---an obstacle put up by persons
who were hostile to the newly-born People's Republic of China,
which meant a blow to those who had backed the KMT government
during the Third Revolutionary Civil War. After Chiang kai-shek's
clique fled to Taiwan, they tried to create "two Chinas" or "one
China, one Taiwan" in international organizations.
Taiwan is one of China's provinces and must be reunified with
the mainland. As to at what time and by what means, this is
entirely an internal problem. Any attempt to create "two Chinas" or
"one China, one Taiwan" is blatant interference in China's internal
affairs, a plot to split China into two parts, which will never be
tolerated by the Chinese people on both side of the Taiwan Strait.
This has thus become an international problem.
In May 1954, the IOC discussed the China problem at its 50th
session in Athens. It organized the All-China Sports Federation as
the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) by 23 votes for and 21 against.
Yet the then IOC President Avery Brundage put the co-called
"Olympic Committee of the Republic of China" into the list of
IOC-recognized National Olympic Committee (NOCs), without bringing
up the matter for discussion in the IOC. This was a sheer plot to
create "two Chinas."
In June 1955, Rong Gaotang, Vice-President and Secretary-General
of the COC, pointed out at the Third Meeting of the IOC Executive
Board with the NOCs that the insertion of a sports organization in
Taiwan into the IOC was illegal and in violation of the spirit of
the IOC Charter and that the IOC should withdraw its recognition of
this organization. Brundage turned down the COC's demand, saying
that sport has nothing to do with politics. Actually, he was
playing a most dirty political trick himself under the cloak of
"apolitics," which made it all the more deceitful.
The COC had made earnest preparations for the 16th Olympic
Games. It wrote letters to the sports workers and athletes in
Taiwan Province, inviting them to Beijing to take part in the
selective trials and form a united delegation to the Games, and
ensuring them that they might come to the mainland and leave it of
their own free will and that they would get every possible
convenience and assistance from the COC.
In spite of repeated protests from the COC, such terms as
"Peking China" and "Formosa China" kept appearing in IOC's
documents. In such a situation, the COC announced that China would
not participate in the Games.
In his letter to Dong Shouyi, Chinese member of the IOC,
Brundage went so far as to say that Taiwan did not belong to China
and that the natives of Taiwan were neither Chinese nor Japanese.
Dong pointed out in his reply: "Taiwan has been China's territory
since ancient times. This is a historical fact no one can possibly
alter. It is true that Taiwan was under Japanese imperialist
occupation during the period between 1895 to 1945. However, it was
returned to China after the Second World war in accordance with the
Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Proclamation. "
Considering that Brundage was an American, Dong was patient
enough to teach him something more about Taiwan in connection with
"Taiwan has a population of more than eight million, of which
over 90 per cent are descendants of Han nationals who immigrated to
Taiwan from the Chinese mainland many centuries earlier than your
ancestors to the continent of American. In addition to the Han
nationals, there are some 200,000 Gaoshan compatriots, a national
minority residing in Taiwan who, together with all the other ethnic
groups in China, constitute the big family of the Chinese nation.
Starting from the fact that there are a number of minority
nationals residing in Taiwan, you assert that the natives of Taiwan
are not Chinese. Then, basing ourselves on the fact that America
was originally inhabited by Indians, don't we have more reasons to
assert that the Americans now residing in America are not
But Brundage would not listen to reason. Under his manipulation,
the IOC insisted on its mistake of recognizing one of china's local
organizations---a sports organization in Taiwan--- as a national
Olympic Committee. Stepping into IOC's shoes, some international
federations of individual sports, including football, athletics,
weightlifting, swimming, basketball, shooting, cycling and
wrestling, illegally recognized sports organizations of the
so-called "Republic of China."
In order to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial
integrity, the COC and the sports associations affiliated to it
could not but withdraw from 15 corresponding international
organizations one after another during June-August 1958, announcing
that they would have nothing to do with these international
organizations before they had corrected their mistakes.
After this, the Chinese athletes were barred from international
sports activities by these organizations whose constitutions
provide that any of their members competing with non-members will
be punished. Many athletes kept up their contact with their Chinese
counterparts in spite of the threats. Some were sanctioned,
arousing great indignation among the sports circles, especially in
the Third World.
In order to break the blockade, China adopted a tit-for-tat
policy by, so to speak, "setting up a separate kitchen" or "putting
on a rival show."
In the summer of 1962, Indonesia, the host country of the Fourth
Asian Games, refused to invite Taiwan under the name of "Republic
of China." Some international sports organizations decided not to
recognize the Games, withdraw their recognition of the Indonesian
NOC and forbade Indonesia indefinitely to participate in Olympic
Games. In response to all this, President Sukarno (1901-1970) of
Indonesia proposed to hold the Games of New Emerging Forces
(GANEFO). It took place in Jakarta in September 1963, with the
participation of 2,404 athletes from 48 countries in Asia, Africa,
Latin America and Europe. China sent her largest delegation in
history. A number of world records were broken in athletics,
weightlifting and archery. In November 1966 an Asian GANEFO was
staged in Phnom Penh. In addition, some GANEFO tournaments in
individual sports were held in China.
Notwithstanding its discontinuation owing to changes in the
international political situation, the GANEFO displayed the growing
unity of the Third World in the Olympic Movement.
Another "separate kitchen" was built in the table tennis world
in 1972. During the "culture revolution" (1966-1976), China did not
participate in the 29th and 30th World Table Tennis Championships.
Her seat in the Asian Table Tennis Federation was occupied by
Taiwan. In 1972, with the backing of the associations of China,
Japan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a new
organization called "Asian Table Tennis Union " was founded in
place of the Asian Table Tennis Federation, with China's rightful
status reinstated, thus marking another victory in the struggle
against the "two Chinas" plot.
(COC Website July 7, 2004)