Politics and policy of forging post-handover Hong Kong as sporting mega-event centre

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Abstract

After the Qing Empire's failure in the Opium War in the 1840s, Hong Kong, then a small fishing village in the south coast of China, was ceded to Britain. In the following 150 years of colonial rule, the British successfully transformed this fishing village into one of the most prominent commercial and financial centres in the world. To further boost the reputation of Hong Kong in the international arena, since the 1980s the colonial government and business corporations have been instrumental in providing financial support to local sport organisations to hold international tournaments of badminton, tennis, squash, golf, rugby and football. The city was also an enthusiastic host of mega-events overseen by renowned international sport organizations. The people of Hong Kong enjoyed the brilliant performances of world-class athletes in these sport galas. However, in 1997 the British government agreed to return the city to Beijing. Although the paramount leader Deng Xiaoping and his followers insisted that Hong Kong would enjoy a high degree of autonomy under the "One Country Two Systems" principle after the transfer of sovereignty, Hong Kong citizens were anxious about the future. Reports from the international media predicted the failure of this unprecedented principle. It is in this context that the colonial authorities and business corporations saw how sport could be used to restore the confidence of the Hong Kong people. Accordingly, a number of new sporting mega-events were held in the city in the 1990s.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Sport in Asia
EditorsHong FAN, Zhouxiang LU
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter25
Pages271-278
ISBN (Electronic)9780429590276
ISBN (Print)9780367183776
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Publication series

Name Routledge International Handbooks Series

Bibliographical note

The author pays tribute to Professors Fan Hong and Lu Zhouxiang for editing this Handbook. He also thanks Lingnan University Office of Research Support for offering direct grant (No. DR19B6) to fund the data collection of this chapter.

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    CHU, M. P. (2020). Politics and policy of forging post-handover Hong Kong as sporting mega-event centre. In H. FAN, & Z. LU (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Sport in Asia (pp. 271-278). ( Routledge International Handbooks Series). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429061202-29