A question of names : the solution to the 'two Chinas' issue in modern Olympic history : the final phase, 1971-1984 / Pei Dongguang

Pei, Dongguang

Though China entered international sports affairs and initiated a relationship with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as early as May 1915, it did not actually participate in the Olympic Games until 1932. After a long civil war between communists and nationalists (KMT), which intensified after the end of World War II, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) came into being on 10 October 1949. The defeated KMT government evacuated to the island of Formosa, now known as Taiwan. Thus, from this time in history, Taiwan and the PRC fomented a series of troubling incidents in international and IOC affairs. For instance, the PRC withdrew from the IOC and from all international sports federations in 1958 due to a series of controversies stemming from the festering issues and differences harboured by both Taiwan and the PRC. The PRC decision taken in 1958 prompted its absence from the Olympic Movement for a period of 25 years. However, world events and the phenomenon of “Ping Pong Diplomacy” in 1971 ushered in the beginning of a new era of detente and problem solution. Eventually, the PRC/Taiwan issue was settled in 1981, resulting in the PRC and Taiwan competing together for the first time in the 1984 at the Games of the 23rd Olympiad in Los Angeles.

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