Article 48 of the Common Program
Article 48 of the Common Program

National physical culture shall be promoted. Public health and medical work shall be expanded and attention shall be paid to the protection of the health of mothers, infants and children.

under construction....

under construction...


In april 1917 Mao Zedong stated Our nation is wanting in strength. The military spirit has not been encouraged; The physical condition of the population deteriorates daily. This is an extremely disturbing phenomenon.
Mao Zedong, “A Study of Physical Education”
In the Chinese context the term ‘Tiyu’ (体育) is often used instead of sport. 'Tiyu' also includes general fitness, traditional exercise and martial arts (e.g., taijiquan and wushu), chess, folk dance, competitive and non-competitive paramilitary activities, collective games, and various kinds of broadcast calisthenics.
Shuman Amanda G. (2014). The politics of socialist athletics in the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1966. Page 4. Broadcast calisthenics are sets of exercises broadcast on loudspeakers and designed for ordinary people to perform on a routine basis. Page 72
At the All-China Sport and Physical Education Congress held on 26-27 October 1949, Zhu De, vice-chairman of the Communist Party, explained: "Sport and physical education is an important part of education and health. The central government must understand this. Sport should serve the people, serve national defense and serve the purpose of improving people’s health. Students, farmers, workers, soldiers, citizens should all participate in physical exercise and sports activities.16"
Cited in Lu Zhouxiang, Fan Hong ( 2013). Sport and Nationalism in China Routledge. Page 80
Only after the more or less failed participation of the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games (See Article 11 note 62) a separate ministry level sports commission is established. It shall have equal status to that of others, such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance, He Long becomes the head. Having seen the results of the Soviet Union on the Olympic Games
Soviet Union ended on the 2nd rank, after the US with 71 medals, 22 gold, 30 silver and 19 bronze
Rong Gaotang
Rong Gaotang (1912-2006) Vice President of the All-China Sports Federation
proposes "..that China should adopt the model of the Soviet Union to develop a sports policy and a centralised management system to meet the country’s political and diplomatic requirements. … The ACSF (All China Sport Federation) is only a semi-governmental organisation and it does not have the power to lead the development of sport and physical education in China. Rong argued that Chinese sport policy and practice should follow the model of the Soviet Union as it had been proved to be the most successful one in the world."
Xu Guoqi (2008). Olympic Dreams China and Sports 1895–2008. Page 77
Shortly after these proposals, the CCP instructs Rong Gaotang: 1) Begin the preparation of the structure of the new Ministry of Sport; 2) Begin to recruit professional full time athletes from the army and society; 3) Start to build an athletic stadium; 4) Begin to establish sports institutes; 5) Hold a National Games next year (1953).
Fan Wei , Fan Hong & Lu Zhouxiang (2010) Chinese State Sports Policy: Pre- and Post-Beijing 2008. Page 2383. 1st National Games is only being held in Beijing in 1959
Besides this founding of a sports commission in June 1952, also other measurements are taken, the magazine issue of Xin Tiyu
25 to 50 percent of each monthly issue in the early 1950s to topics such as the structure of the Soviet system, Soviet tiyu theory, Soviet training methods, and successful Soviet athletes
in July 1950 and the start of broadcast calisthenics in late 1951. China sends a delegation to observe the 1st Asian Games from 4 to 11 March 1951. The First National Minority Nationalities Traditional Sports Games are held in Tianjin on November 8-12, 1953 with 13 nationalities and 395 athletes. Other mass tiyu activities are held "...particularly useful for rallying behind national and patriotic goals that would help consolidate the new regime’s power, and no truer was this than for the Resist America Aid Korea campaign that began following China’s entry into the KoreanWar in October 1950"
Shuman (2014). The politics of socialist athletics. Page 68
The National Athletic team is established in 1953; the National Table Tennis, Swimming, Badminton teams in 1954; the National Gymnastics team in 1955.
In his speech of june 30, 1953 for an audience of the Youth League, Mao Zedong explains: "Now we must ensure that everybody is in good health; we must ensure that workers, peasants, soldiers, students, and cadres are all in good health. Of course, being in good health doesn't necessarily mean that one will study well; studying [well] requires certain methods…. On the one hand there is study, on the other recreation, rest, and sleep; both aspects must be taken into full consideration. Young workers, young peasants, and young soldiers study as they work; for them, too, work and study [on the one hand] and recreation, rest, and sleep [on the other] must both be taken into full consideration. Both ends must be firmly grasped. Studying and work must be firmly grasped, but sleep, rest, and recreation must be firmly grasped also. In the past we only took hold of one end firmly, and we didn't take a firm hold on the other end, or else didn't take hold of it at all. Now we must develop some [programs for] recreation; there must be time and facilities [for recreation]. At this end too, we must take a firm hold. The Central Committee of the Party has already decided to reduce the number of meetings and the time [required] for study; you must supervise the implementation [of this decision]. If there are people who don't carry it out, [an explanation] should be demanded of them."
30-06-1953 Mao Zedong Speech on the Youth League
In November 1953 the authors of a report of the China National Sport Commission still complain that …many cadres not only did not understand the importance of sports but “have even ignored sports.”43
Xu Guoqi (2008). Olympic Dreams. Page 48
Partly the reason for this is Nevertheless, tiyu in this transitional period was far more complex than labels of “new” and “old” indicate because it was built on legacies of the past, plans for the future, modeled on the Soviet system, and was directed by Communist revolutionaries, a variety of experts from the earlier Republican period, and a handful of Soviet tiyu specialists. ...Tiyu workers, experts, professors, and athletes who remained on the mainland after 1949 also played vital roles in the development of “new” tiyu, including training the next generation of athletes and leaders. Some became or remained leaders in national tiyu organizations. In other words, so-called “new” tiyu in the early 1950s retained some of the characteristics of “old” tiyu.
Shuman (2014). The politics of socialist athletics. Pages 28-30
In the eyes of some Party leaders the "old" tiyu experts are seen as less trustworthy than fellow cadres and thus requiring supervision.

Sport is considered as a weapon against American imperialism, in the 30’s and 40’s the physical culture is based on the principles of American methods.
Feng Wenbin
Feng Wenbin (1911-1997) President of the All-China Sports Federation
states The American imperialists spread their sport not because they were concerned about the health of the Chinese people, but because sport was an ideal tool of cultural imperialism. The American imperialists emphasised to the Chinese people that American sports equipment is the best, their athletes are the fastest and their basketball team is the top the world.
cited in Hwang Dong-jhy (2002). Sport, Imperialism and Postcolonialism: A Critical Analysis of Sport in China 1860-1993. Page 116
Likewise sport is seen as a weapon against feudalist martial arts. It has to be of scientific character and oppose feudal and superstitious ideas. A particular case was the Chinese martial arts of Wusu, which was seen as a tool of the counter-revolutionaries “who had set up anti-revolutionary organizations which threatened the stability of society, taught young people to be thieves and rapists and provided shelter for the people’s enemies” . Fan’s argument agrees unconditionally with the government’s official claim that these Wusu organizations in the countryside and cities should be banned, and that Wusu groups in schools, factories and government departments should be reorganized by the Youth League and local governments.
Hwang (2002). Sport, Imperialism and Postcolonialism. Page 117

In August 1950 a sport delegation leaves for Moscow, back in Beijing they communicate their findings: the importance of everyone participating in exercise, as well as the necessity of having a large sports stadium with the capacity for 100,000 and an indoor sports arena with a capacity of 10,000.111 Such advice was taken seriously; a plan from the Beijing Municipal Education Bureau in mid-1952 proposed spending nearly 23 billion yuan to build or renovate sports stadiums, fields, and equipment for children and adults.112
Shuman (2014). Pages 61-62
On December 20, 1950 the first Soviet Union sport delegation visits the PRC. During their stay the delegation visits 8 cities and 14 meetings are held with Chinese officials. The development of Chinese sports programs and sports exchanges in the first half of the 1950s sought to fulfill the goals of the Common Program, while also adopting Soviet-inspired sports programs in China. PRC leaders wanted these state-sponsored sports programs to strengthen the masses of Chinese bodies and Chinese athletes for the purposes of national goals. However, they also envisioned Soviet-inspired sports programs as the correct path to becoming a socialist state, within the context of Soviet-led international socialism.
Shuman (2014). Page 16
Most elite athletes in the 1950s came from schools and universities, which were the first institutional settings for women's sport.

Numbers of athletes of national competitions Source: Dong Jinxia (2004). Women, Sport and Society in Modern China: Holding Up More Than Half the Sky. Page 29

On February 21, 1954 Zhou Enlai delivers a speech "Building physical fitness for the motherland" in which he defines sport as a political mission for national defence and the construction of the socialist country: The most urgent mission is to develop industry and the economy and consolidate national defence. This mission requires all of us to have strong bodies. We need modern technology to develop our industry. Modern technology cannot be operated without strong and healthy workers. Our people are not strong enough to be qualified workers. Furthermore, modern weapons, such as tanks and jet planes, also need strong and healthy operators. Thus, the GTO is not only designed for the improvement of an individual’s health, but also for national defence and the construction of a socialist country. It is a political mission.
Fan Hong & Lu Zhouxiang (2012) Representing the New China and the Sovietisation of Chinese sport (1949–1962). Page 9
Xu (2008) remarks "the modern physical culture so quickly accepted as tiyu was novel for its systematic” effort to link “individual strength, discipline, and health” with the military, industrial, and diplomatic “strength” of the national body.62 For the Chinese, tiyu not only conveyed a distinct sense of sports, but also the idea that through the forum of sports as public culture, they could articulate Chinese nationalism, the national identity of China, and even the meaning of being Chinese. "
Xu (2008). Olympic Dreams Page 28
This so called Labour Defence System is based on the Soviet Union “Ready for Labour and Defence” system. Hwang (2002) distinguishes five basic aspects of Chinese physical education "(i) the most basic was exercise—the core of the physical training programme. Participation in a varied set of exercises was viewed as preparation for all other aspects of physical education; (ii) physical education involved both games and dance which were included in the middle school programme; (iii) sports were seen as an extension of basic exercises with competition (iv) physical education involved training for labour and defence....(v) physical education involved complete patriotic and socialist education. "
Hwang (2002). Page 121
The Labour Defence System is largely confined to schools above middle school level and the upper school physical education programme, has always a military flavour. The National Defense Sports Society (NDSS) is established in 1952. The NDSS is a section of the "Sports Ministry". Its mission is to promote parachute jumping, shooting, camping, sailing, aero modeling, radio sports, motorcycling, aerodonetics and other military sports in the cities. A total of 163 sports grounds are built around the country to serve this goal. Parachute jump towers are given highest priority.
Lu Zhouxiang, Fan Hong (2013). Page 83
The improvement of the physical is not restricted to scholars and students in 1954 an instruction is issued ‘to Engage in Sports Activities during Breaks’ "Cadres in government departments at all levels were required to undertake physical exercise for ten minutes in the morning and afternoon during working days. In the same year, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions issued its ‘Instruction to Promote Sports in Industrial factories to improve workers health …"
Lu Zhouxiang, Fan Hong (2013). Page 82

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