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The "Two Chinas" Problem

2004-03-27 15:16:00 COC Website

    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 American history:

    "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 Americans?"

    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.

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