The National Games and National Identity in China: A History, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The National Games and National Identity in China

A History, 1st Edition

By Liu Li, Fan Hong


124 pages | 18 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138628199
pub: 2017-06-13
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The history of China’s National Games reflects both the transformation of elite sport in China and wider Chinese society. This is the first book to describe the origins and development of the National Games through their dynamic relationship with Chinese politics, nationalism and identity in the modern era.

Looking specifically at the role of the National Games in China’s changing social, political and economic circumstances from 1910 to 2009, this book uncovers how the National Games reflected the shifts in state-led nationalist ideologies within three historical eras: the late Qing Dynasty and Republican China (1910-1948), the early People’s Republic of China (1959-1979) and the People’s Republic of China in the post-1980s (1983–2009). It also examines how the National Games were reformed to serve China’s Olympic Strategy in the context of globalization and commercialization from the 1980s onwards. Full of original insights into archive material, each chapter sheds new light on the social, cultural and political significance of this sporting mega-event in the shaping of modern China.

This is fascinating reading for anybody with an interest in the politics, history and culture of China.


Provides a clear picture of the inextricable relationship between nationalism, national identity, and sport megaevents in China from 1910 to the 1980s […] very absorbing.

Chia-Ju Yen, National Taiwan Sport University

Table of Contents


1. Modern Chinese Nation, Nationalism, National Identity and Sport

2. The Origin and Development of the National Games in the Late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China, 1910-1948

3. Governance of Sport and the National Games in the PRC, 1949–1979

4. The National Games and China’s Olympic Strategy in the Post-1980s

5. The National Games and National Identity in China


About the Authors

Liu Li is a lecturer in the College of Sports and Physical Education at Anhui Normal University, China

Fan Hong is Professor of Asian Studies at Bangor University, UK

About the Series

Routledge Focus on Sport, Culture and Society

Routledge Focus on Sport, Culture and Society showcases the latest cutting-edge research in the sociology of sport and exercise. Concise in form (20,000-50,000 words) and published quickly (within three months), the books in this series represents an important channel through which authors can disseminate their research swiftly and make an impact on current debates. We welcome submissions on any topic within the socio-cultural study of sport and exercise, including but not limited to subjects such as gender, race, sexuality, disability, politics, the media, social theory, Olympic Studies, and the ethics and philosophy of sport. The series aims to be theoretically-informed, empirically-grounded and international in reach, and will include a diversity of methodological approaches.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / China
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sociology of Sports