Since President Xi Jinping came into office in November 2012, four comprehensive reform programmes to develop football and sports in general in China have been issued:
- The State Councils Opinion on How to Accelerate the Development of Sports Industry to Promote Sports Consumption (2014)
- The Overall Chinese Football Reform and Development Programme (2015)
- The Medium and Long-Term Development Plan of Chinese Football (2016-2050) (2016)
- The National Construction Plan for Football Pitches and Facilities (2016-2020) (2016)
Each of these reforms is closely associated with President Xi Jinping: the general rationale for the development efforts in Chinese football has been mainly explained, in both official and non-official narratives, by the personal preference of the president. In other words, President Xi Jinping was said to be doing it because he’s a football fan. It has been written a lot about this subject. Many Western observers are particularly interested in the commercialisation of Chinese football and the relations between political and economic elites. There are various rumors and assumptions about the development efforts in Chinese football, but supporting facts, analysis and evidence are rare. Hence, these translations are intended to contribute to the understanding of developments in Chinese football.