The "Two Chinas" Problem
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
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
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
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.