Politics of the Asian Games and the East Asian Games in China

Marcus P. CHU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review


China has been a keen host of regional sports mega-events. Between 1990 and 2020, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Tianjin staged two Asian Games and two East Asian Games. Hangzhou is set to present another Asian Games in the autumn of 2022. By reviewing journalistic reports, key players’ memoirs, scholarly works, and official documents of the Chinese central and local governments and international sports organizations, this article aims to make clear the Chinese authorities’ motivations for endorsing the bids for, and/or hosting of, these regional events. The findings constitute an in-depth account of how the holding of the Asian Games and the East Asian Games has been persistently used to realize the political ambitions of Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and Xi Jinping, such as the pursuit of the Summer and Winter Olympics. They also uncover the reasons why the central government offered generous financial support for the organization of the 1990 Asian Games and did not do so for those of the other four regional events.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSports Mega-Events in Asia
EditorsKoji KOBAYASHI, John HORNE, Younghan CHO, Jung Woo LEE
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9789819900114
ISBN (Print)9789819900107, 9799819900138
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2023

Publication series

NamePalgrave Series of Sport in Asia
ISSN (Print)2662-9348
ISSN (Electronic)2662-9356


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