chapter  2
28 Pages

The origin and development of the National Games in the late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China, 1910–1948

Sport has been widely acknowledged as having made a significant contribution to the development of nationalism and national identity in China. This chapter begins with a discussion of how Western sport was introduced to China in the modern era and how China gradually accepted Western sports ideology, which was different from China's inherent physical culture. It examines the birth of the National Games in China and highlights how this event was established by the Western missionary institution, the YMCA. The chapter also explores how China regained the sovereignty of sport from the hands of Westerners by hosting the Third National Games in 1924. It discusses the interplay of the rituals and symbols of the National Games and Chinese nationalism in the context of political and economic perspectives under the nationalist government in the Republic era. The insularity of China's Qing Dynasty rulers eventually witnessed how China's door was forced to open to Western countries by cannons and guns.