Publication: “Chinese Football in the Era of Xi Jinping: What do Supporters Think?”

Publication: “Chinese Football in the Era of Xi Jinping: What do Supporters Think?”

Chinese football is a largely neglected research object in social science research on China, although Chinese president Xi Jinping himself stated that „[f]ootball is the most popular sport in the world and there are over 100 million football fans in China alone“. Recently, however, the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs published an article by Ilker Gündogan and Albrecht Sonntag called “Chinese Football in the Era of Xi Jinping: What do Supporters Think?”. The study aims to illustrate how the Chinese football community perceived the newly launched national football reform programmes in the People’s Republic of China.

The article starts by giving the reader a brief introduction to Chinese football history, explaining that, despite being very successful in other sports (especially individual sports), China has failed to reach the same level of competitiveness and success in football. The men‘s national football team has only once qualified for a FIFA World Cup and is struggling to catch up with the women‘s national team. Furthermore, corruption and fraud caused detrimental effects on the reputation and prominence of the Chinese football leagues. Even before Xi Jinping came to office as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, he has expressed a strong desire to change the poor state and lousy image of Chinese football. For instance, in 2011, he revealed his “three wishes for Chinese football”: to qualify for a World Cup, to host a World Cup, and finally to win a World Cup. And, after having taken office as president in 2013, the Chinese political leadership released a “comprehensive” national football development strategy in order to “improve physical health, enrich cultural life, promote the spirit of patriotism and collectivism, develop the sports industry” as well as to meet “the new popular expectations by realising the dream of becoming a powerful sporting nation”. To achieve these goals, a centralisation of national football governance structures was enforced by state authorities, meaning that “the political leadership of the PRC has shifted decision-making powers in Chinese football […] to an even higher level of authority; this, in turn, stresses the degree of importance attributed to football by China’s contemporary political leaders”.

The implications of football play an essential role in China‘s political efforts to develop “the people’s game”. Football today serves as a consolidator of national identity not only in China but also in many other countries. Historically, this facet has been especially highlighted in the context of European and Latin American communities, which means that the game’s propensity to serve as a stabiliser of national identity can be applied to many different “varieties of nationalism” around the globe. As Gündogan and Sonntag put it: Football was considered historically “as a mock confrontation of nations”, focusing on “territorial layout and battlefield terminology (‘attack,’ ‘defence,’ ‘wings,’ ‘shots,’ ‘captain,’ and the like) [that’s why different political] regimes were tempted to instrumentalise the game as a way of consolidating national identities”. It is therefore not too surprising that in particular national football teams “are heavily charged with symbolic value” and consequently “trigger profoundly nationalistic identification patterns based on feelings of belonging, perceived singularity, and national pride”.

A notable feature of this study is that, in comparison to some other studies on Chinese football, the results are not merely based on hypotheses, but provide original data. The authors created an online survey with 40 questions in order to examine the attitudes of Chinese football supporters, with particular emphasis laid on issues of nationalism and governance. The survey was disseminated via Chinese social media channels such as WeChat and Sina Weibo, and the responses of 2,499 survey participants from all over mainland China were taken into consideration. Some 1885 respondents completed all 40 questions.

The results suggest that “[g]iven the place that football tends to occupy in the lives of those who consider themselves ‘supporters,’ it is coherent that the survey participants felt concerned by a reform programme that is directly targeted at their passion and is thus likely to have an impact on their everyday lives”.

Although the survey confirms that most survey participants identify with the Chinese national team and emotionally react to certain symbolic elements and behaviours, only very few respondents are satisfied with the performance of the Chinese men’s national football team (1.6 per cent). Moreover, a significant 80 per cent of respondents expect that the Chinese men’s national team will not be able to overtake those of Japan and South Korea in the FIFA World Ranking over the next ten years.

Both in several media reports and the official documents, the personal preference and fondness of President Xi Jinping for “the beautiful game” were repeatedly emphasised. The survey participants were asked what, in their opinion, were the main motivations behind the reform and development efforts vis-à-vis Chinese football. The responses reveal that a large majority of respondents perceives the reforms as a response to a public demand (80 per cent) and an attempt to raise China’s soft power on the international level (59 per cent), very much in line with the officially stated goals in the reform programmes.

The complete article and survey questions can be found here (free access):

Charlotte Dirks

Charlotte Dirks is a research assistant in the department of East Asian Studies at Ruhr University Bochum.
Charlotte Dirks

350 Gedanken zu „Publication: “Chinese Football in the Era of Xi Jinping: What do Supporters Think?”

  1. Pingback: cialis from canada
  2. Pingback: Brand name viagra
  3. Pingback: price of cialis
  4. Pingback: viagra for sale
  5. Pingback: levitra vs viagra
  6. Pingback: cialis
  7. Pingback: price of cialis
  8. Pingback: viagra 100mg
  9. Pingback: viagra for sale
  10. Pingback: viagra generic
  11. Pingback: buy erection pills
  12. Pingback: cheap ed pills
  13. Pingback: canadian pharmacy
  14. Pingback: levitra 10 mg
  15. Pingback: levitra cost
  16. Pingback: free slots online
  17. Pingback: cialis tadalafil
  18. Pingback: sildenafil 100mg
  19. Pingback: loans online
  20. Pingback: installment loans
  21. Pingback: sale viagra
  22. Pingback: pala casino online
  23. Pingback: generic for cialis
  24. Pingback: brooks
  25. Pingback: casinos
  26. Pingback: cialis to buy
  27. Pingback: viagra dosage
  28. Pingback: free casino games
  29. Pingback: valizze
  30. Pingback: turkrotts
  31. Pingback: casino real money
  32. Pingback: bafuinn
  33. Pingback: flamepm
  34. Pingback: brennanoil
  35. Pingback: casino slot
  36. Pingback: gparmc
  37. Pingback: bilabeela
  38. Pingback: viagra pills
  39. Pingback: wtmiradio
  40. Pingback: viagra for sale
  41. Pingback: sildenafil
  42. Pingback: levitra
  43. Pingback: viagra online
  44. Pingback: cheap viagra
  45. Pingback: purchase cialis
  46. Pingback: buzzages
  47. Pingback: viagra dosage
  48. Pingback: mersinulus
  49. Pingback: Google
  50. Pingback: free slots online
  51. Pingback: fake money online
  52. Pingback: Buy Meth Online
  53. Pingback: fullonrad
  54. Pingback: Human Race Shoes
  55. Pingback: Yeezy Boost 350
  56. Pingback: Timberland Shoes
  57. Pingback: Yeezys
  58. Pingback: Yeezy
  59. Pingback: Yeezy
  60. Pingback: UGG Outlet
  61. Pingback: Timberland Boots
  62. Pingback: generic propecia
  63. Pingback: UGG
  64. Pingback: Yeezy Shoes
  65. Pingback: Venice photography
  66. Pingback: Employee benefits
  67. Pingback: More Turn Thailand
  68. Pingback:
  69. Pingback: leomedicus
  70. Pingback: hectic radio
  71. Pingback: led lamp for nails
  72. Pingback: bitsler
  73. Pingback:
  74. Pingback: business
  75. Pingback: buy Viagra 150 mg
  76. Pingback: calusseau
  77. Pingback: viagra
  78. Pingback: buy Viagra 200mg
  79. Pingback: trade coin
  80. Pingback: online viagra
  81. Pingback: buy Viagra 100mg
  82. Pingback: boulder seo
  83. Pingback: cialis coupon 2020
  84. Pingback: bartender class
  85. Pingback: online cialis
  86. Pingback: buy viagra generic
  87. Pingback: Cialis 10mg pills
  88. Pingback: viagra for sale
  89. Pingback: canadian pharmacy
  90. Pingback: cheap levitra 20mg
  91. Pingback: realistic dong
  92. Pingback: propecia 5 mg uk
  93. Pingback: sueflowers
  94. Pingback: order abilify 10mg
  95. Pingback: pharmacie en ligne
  96. Pingback: actos 15 mg usa
  97. Pingback: hat macca
  98. Pingback: rx trust pharm
  99. Pingback: giayu2
  100. Pingback: aricept 5mg uk
  101. Pingback: buy tadalafil
  102. Pingback: tamoxifen 20mg usa
  103. Pingback: tabakvervanger
  104. Pingback: witgoed reparatie
  105. Pingback: cialis gel tabs
  106. Pingback: sildenafil coupons
  107. Pingback: havuz market
  108. Pingback: ev dekorasyonu
  109. Pingback: kamado grill
  110. Pingback: viagra
  111. Pingback: Magic Mushrooms
  112. Pingback: Puppies for sale
  113. Pingback: THC VAPE JUICE
  114. Pingback: cardizem purchase
  115. Pingback: name brand viagra
  116. Pingback:
  117. Pingback: ceclor canada
  118. Pingback: viagra low price
  119. Pingback: CBD Vape Cartridge
  120. Pingback: Gulberg Arena
  121. Pingback: celebrex price
  122. Pingback: compare ed drugs
  123. Pingback: celexa purchase
  124. Pingback: sweat
  125. Pingback: viagra substitute
  126. Pingback: cheap cipro
  127. Pingback: claritin tablet
  128. Pingback: Google
  129. Pingback: güncel haberler
  130. Pingback: online casino
  131. Pingback: casino online
  132. Pingback: cheap followers
  133. Pingback: slot machines
  134. Pingback: find out more
  135. Pingback: cheap ed pills
  136. Pingback: learn more
  137. Pingback: o-dsmt
  138. Pingback: accc car insurance
  139. Pingback: Change DMT
  140. Pingback: ed pharmacy
  141. Pingback: brazzers
  142. Pingback: film
  143. Pingback: cialis savings
  144. Pingback: usa payday loans
  145. Pingback: film
  146. Pingback: online quick loan
  147. Pingback: best online viagra
  148. Pingback: Nugget earrings
  149. Pingback: usa pharmacy
  150. Pingback: get personal loans
  151. Pingback: cbd oil for dogs
  152. Pingback: pubg mobile hile
  153. Pingback: What song is this?
  154. Pingback: CANADA EN CARGO
  155. Pingback: healthyman viagra
  156. Pingback: cheap viagra 50mg
  157. Pingback: online bitcoin
  158. Pingback: top ed pills
  159. Pingback: cute fennec fox
  160. Pingback: eclectus
  161. Pingback: toucan for sale
  162. Pingback: sibil çetinkaya
  163. Pingback: clozaril uk
  164. Pingback: Cialis or viagra

Die Kommentare sind geschlossen.

Die Kommentare sind geschlossen.