This is the first book to offer a comprehensive overview of the history, and development of sport from the ancient to the contemporary era in China. It addresses the gap between the vibrant academic scholarship within China and the limited understanding of Chinese sport outside of the country. It opens different perspectives on Chinese sport and addresses a wide range of issues central to the development of sport in the context of Chinese culture, politics, economy and society. It explores a diverse set of topics including the history of Chinese traditional sport, the rise of modern sport and the Olympic movement, sport and nationhood, sport and politics and international relations, sport and physical education, sport and economy and commerce, sport and social stratification and diversity, and sport leisure and tourism. It offers critical insights into the multifaceted world of Chinese past and present—a contribution to our collective knowledge and understanding of Chinese sport and society—useful reading for students, researchers and professionals with an interest in the field of China and Chinese sport.


This Handbook has been contributed to by a team consisting of 88 leading Chinese and Asian experts and scholars with varied backgrounds of studying and working in European, North American, and Australian universities, as well as Western scholars with expertise of China and its sports system and practice. It is composed of ten parts classified by different subjects. It provides a wide lens through which to better contextualise the relationships between China and the world within the global sport community.


The Routledge Handbook of Sport in China is a vital resource for students and scholars studying the history, politics, sociology, culture and policy of sport in China, as well as sport management, sport history, sport sociology, and sport policy and politics. It is also valuable reading for those who are working in international sport policy making and sport organisations.

Part 1

1. The Bodily Practice, Thoughts and Beliefs in Pre-Qin Period (before 221 BC)

2. Sport Transformation in Qin and Han Dynasties and Three Kingdoms Period

3. Sports in the Two Jin and the Southern and Northern Dynasties

4. Sport, Physical Activity and Health in Sui, Tang, and Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (581-979)

5. Sports Development in Song and Yuan Dynasties (960-1368)

6. The Transformation of Traditional Sports in the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1840)

Part 2

7. The Early Diffusion of Modern Western Sport to China

8. Physical Liberation and Feminism: Women’s Sports in the Republic of China

9. Christianity and the Transformation of Physical Education and Sport in China

10. Sporting Events and Competitions in Modern China

11. Going Global: China’s Participation in the Olympics During the Republic of China

12. China and the Far Eastern Championship Games

Part 3

13. International Sporting Bids, China, and the Relations with Its Neighbours

14. Sport Diplomacy and International Relations of China

Part 4

15. Professional Football in China: The Past, Present, and Future

16. The Systemic and Political Governance of Chinese Sport

17. Mass Sport And Its Role In Economic Development

18. School Sport and University Sports Club Development in China

19. Chinese Sports Lottery: Development And Regulations

20. Sports Law in China

Part 5

21. The Influence of Gender Identities and Development on Sport and Physical Education in China

22. A Comparative Study on the Policies and Practices of Physical Education in Schools at the Compulsory Education Stage Between China and Japan

23. Preschool Children’s Sport Policy Development and Health Since the Reform and Opening Up in China

24. From the ‘Cooperation of Sports and Education’ to the ‘Integration of Sports and Education’: The Road of Training Elite Sport Talents in China

25. A Critical Assessment of Physical Education Systems in Schools

Part 6

26. Sport and Physical Fitness of Senior Citizens

27. Sport and Social Stratification in Contemporary China: Migrant Workers, Citizenship, and Sport Rights

28. Sport Participation of Ethnic Minorities

29. Sport Policy and Development for the Masses: A Historical Overview

30. China’s Selection System for Disabled Athletes and its Advantages

31. Gender Politics and Women’s Sports Participation in the People’s Republic of China

32. Sports Participation Among Children and Adolescents

Part 7

33. China at the Asian Games: Progress and Prospects

34. Athletes Development in China:The Success and Challenge

35. Flying the Flag at the Olympics: Representing Nation Through Elite Sport Space

36. The Commercialisation and Professionalisation of High-Performance Sport

37. The Effects of Hosting the Olympic Games in China: From Host and Non-Host Cities’ Perspectives

38. Social Media Marketing in China

39. The Naturalization of Athletes in Mainland China

40. Inheritance and Enrichment: The Cultural Heritage of Beijing Olympic Games

Part 8

41. Sport Commerce and Event Management in the Global Commodity Chains

42. The Promotion of Rural Revitalization in China through Grassroots Sports Social Organisations

43. Sport Economy and Urban Development

44. Leisure Sports in China: Policy and Practice

45. Generation Z Consumers and New Trends in the Chinese Sports Industry

46. "An Art of Regrets": Creativity and Constraints in Olympic Documentary Making in China

Part 9

47. A Review of Taiwan Sports

48. Sport and Hong Kong’s Identity in Transition Since 1997 - Sport Played as a Binder or Not?

49. The Development of Sport-For-All Culture in Post-Colonial Hong Kong

50. The Development Of Sporting Culture In Hong Kong: Hong Kong Gay Games 2023

51. The Collaborative Innovation of Taekwondo Halls in the Cross-Straits Under the Background of Chinese Mainland's Taiwan Policy

52. Olympic Model: Consensus on Cross Strait Sports Communicate Since the Reform and Opening Up of the People’s Republic of China

53. The Transition of Hong Kong Elite Sport Policy Before and After 1997

Part 10

54. A Review of Major Publications on Chinese Sport within Western Scholarship in the 21st Century

55. Management of Chinese Sports Science Research: Sport Science Institutes, Societies and Organizations

56. A Review of Chinese Journals, Conference Proceedings, and Publications in Sports Social Science

57. A Bibliometric Review on the Publications on Exercise and Sport Science in the Major Chinese Sports-Related Journals in the Last Decade

58. Evaluation of Public Finance of Sports Science Research Projects in China——Taking the Sports Project of National Social Science Funds as an Example