Friday, April 11, 2008

Chinese Racism in Sport

Found a wonderful article on how China is perpetuating racist policies in sport.  Even Zimbabwe, with all of it's racist problems still allows a white woman to represent them in swimming, but, according to this report, if you are living in Hong Kong and want to compete at the Olympic level: only Chinese need apply.

When read in conjunction with the previous report on people who speak out on racism being labelled as promoting "splitism" by the Chinese Communist party, you can begin to see just how far China has to travel in relation to other countries in terms of confronting racism, both in society and, as this and the previous article demonstrate, at a governmental level.

One wonders when the world will take actions similar to those taken against South Africa.

Hong Kong’s Olympic Racism

17 October 2007
Original can be found here
Only Chinese need apply for the territory’s Olympic team

Until recently, qualification to represent Hong Kong at the Olympics was determined by length of residence, in keeping with the territory’s dependent status and the multi-ethnic origins of a significant part of its population. But now the Hong Kong government, perhaps abetted by Beijing, is changing the rules in a move that borders on outright racism.

Although qualification by length of residence remains the case with other dependent territories, such as Bermuda, it is being made a condition of joining a Hong Kong Olympic team that individuals have a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport, which requires that the person be of Chinese nationality. This is contrary to practice across the whole Olympic movement.

1. The Olympic movement bases nationality qualification not on passports but on “sports nationality.” Thus a British passport holder who has lived in Australia for several years would be eligible to represent Australia. In the same way a Canadian permanent resident of Hong Kong should be able to represent the territory.

2. The implementation of a Chinese nationality qualification for Hong Kong (and also Macao) in effect gives China three representations while depriving non-Chinese national residents any chance to compete for the territory. It also enables mainlanders to qualify very quickly to represent Hong Kong rather than China.

3. China’s definition of a Chinese national includes an ethnic element. Thus a Malaysian Chinese resident in Hong Kong for a short time may readily be accepted as a national while a person of Indian descent will have great difficulty even if resident for many years and willing to abandon Indian national status.

Hong Kong has only once won a gold medal – wind-surfer Lee Lai-shan in 1996 so its presence is largely irrelevant in the wider scheme of things. But it is not irrelevant to persons such as equestrian hopeful Jennifer Lee Ming-hua, who was born in the US and has a US passport but has lived in Hong Kong for 14 years and has a locally born husband and children. To compete she would have to become a Chinese national and acquire an SAR passport.

The International Olympic Committee is allowing Chinese chauvinism to trump its own rules and ideals. It is time either to make Hong Kong change its qualifications or take it out of the IOC, together with Timothy Fok, the territory’s representative on the IOC, who got there not through sporting achievements but as the son and heir of billionaire property developer and Beijing friend, the late Henry Fok.


Anonymous said...

Exactly, we should show them how it should be done. I wouldn't give a toss if a black girl represented Norway at beauty pageants as long as she is as beautiful as us Nordic people! :-) Love your blog wonder why you have to live in some poor racist country...

AsianRacism said...

Thanks for the feedback, glad you enjoyed the blog. I don't 'have' to live in some poor racist country, I am here as a result of career path, family relationships and opportunities.

It's a result of a number of choices I have made in my life, with no regrets.

I've worked for a number of NGO's in a variety of areas from Human Rights, Economics, conflict resolution and education.

As a result I've spent alot of time in SEA Asia and to a lesser extent, North Asia and some of the south pacific nations.

My wife's family is based in a country in South East Asia and I have four adult children, and my oldest two children both work as Academics in two different east-asian countries.

So that's why I'm here. Perhaps in a few years, depending on where my children end up settling, I will return home and teach again in a University or do some charity outreach work.

Glad you enjoyed the blog, feel free to send any articles about racism in Asia through via the comments moderation.

Alex Wong said...


I assume you are person of caucasian descent.

So care to explain abouth South Africa?
How about double standards for whites working in Singapore?

Anyway, there's bound to have racism everywhere in the world, not only in Asia. Its only how tolerable it is.

I personally think US, SA, Europe and Oceania are worse. (Canada is fine)

I say live and let live. BTW, I'm a Singaporean of Chinese descent.

Ir you wish to talk over it, do email me back at, peace

AsianRacism said...

Hi Alex;

No sorry to disappoint you and failing to reinforce a stereotype, I'm not of Caucasian descent.

Don't disagree about South Africa, or that racism occurs elsewhere, but as stated in the intro, this blog is not focused on those issues which are covered in such detail, depth and dedication that I could never hope to add anything significant to the knowledge base.

Asian racism, and racism in Asia however, is generally not discussed, is a taboo subject by many governments (your own being a prime candidate) and this is an area where i can make a contribution, not matter how small. Also, being based in Asia (but not Singapore) it's easier to get my hands on articles, titbits etc

BTW, you might want to remove your email address from the post, just re-post your comment without the email address and i'll approve it. I don't want you getting spam botted or targetted by any loons out there for any reason - you should really see some of the whacko crap that get's posted from crazy white supremacists through to agitated Chinese chauvinists!!! ugh!!!