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At the time of the Melbourne Games both the Republic of China (the Nationalists on Formosa) and the People's Republic of China (the Peking government on the mainland) had an international sports organization. Both were invited to the 1956 games by the Olympic Committee: the Republic of China accepted, the People's Republic withdrew. That was their privilege: Switzerland and Holland at one time also withdrew their delegations in protest over the Hungarian massacres. The point is, however, that both Chinese international sports organizations were asked.
Now what has
happened? In effect, the International Olympic Committee has said to the
Republic of China, "If you change your name to conform with the political
realities as we see them we will ask you again in 1960; otherwise we will
not." This is politics of the crassest sort and, in view of the real
international importance of the games, power politics at its most naive and
arbitrary. It is not enough to have men of good will running the big things in
this world—we need men of good will and wisdom.
If you agree with
the principles of the Olympic Games, you agree with that decision.
It has always seemed to me that China as a geographical expression means the large part of the Asian land mass where some 600 million or so Chinese people live. Does it make sense to recognize Taipei as China when it clearly controls only the sports activities of the 10 million or so who live on Taiwan?
The IOC has made a great effort to avoid the political issue involved and recognize both Chinese sports organizations. It has explicitly refused to recognize Peking as controlling sport on Taiwan, and it has also told Taipei that it cannot be recognized as the body controlling sport on the mainland.