25 September 2016
Scouting in China and Chinese Territories
The Hong Kong branch became an autonomous association and the 111th member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in 1977.
Scouting in Macau began in 1911 with Chinese and Portuguese Scout troops. Shortly after, Scouts from China and Portugal started their troops in various schools and communities. The Associação de Escoteiros de Macau was founded on 12 December 1983 with 200 members, revitalizing local Scouting after decades of dormancy. When Macau was transferred from Portuguese administration to China in December 1999, the future of Scouting in Macau seemed uncertain, but as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, Macanese institutions are allowed to continue as before. On 20 December 1999, China resumed administration over Macau.
Republic of China and Taiwan: Scouts of China (Chinese: 中華民國童軍), the General Association of the Scouts of China (Chinese: 中華民國童軍總會) in full, is the national Scouting association of the Republic of China, and is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. The Scouts of China has 49,457 members as of 2011. Following the birth of the Republic of China, the first Scout troop was organized by Reverend Yen Chia-lin in Wuchang on February 25, 1912 and the Scouting movement spread rapidly all over the country. The General Association of the Scouts of China was formally established in Nanjing, the former capital of the Republic of China in 1934, and became a member of the International Scout Bureau in 1937. Many Scouts actively participated in the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945.
There were 570,000 registered members in 1941. Scouting existed in mainland China before 1949. In 1949, the ROC government withdrew to Taiwan, where it remains today. However, Scouting has continued in Taiwan under the name of the Scouts of China. The organization was reorganized in 1950 after the ROC government was relocated to Taipei, and resumed membership in the International Scout Bureau as Scouts of China.
In 1930 there were British Boy Scout Troops not only in Shanghai, but also in Tientsin. Russian Scouts fleeing Bolshevism followed White Russian émigrés from 1917 to 1922 through Vladivostok to the east into Manchuria and south into central China, where very large groups of Russian Scouts came into being in cities such as Harbin, Tientsin and Shanghai. There were also several American Scout Troops in China during the 1920s in Beijing and other cities.
However, China now has multiple and originally separate Scouting activities within its borders. In 2004, the Scout Club of Hainan (海南童子军俱乐部), borrowing heavily from Scouting in terms of emblems, uniforms and activities, was founded in Hainan Province; it is, however, not affiliated with worldwide Scouting. An attempt to organize a nationwide Scouting organization in Wuhan was ended by the government in 2004. The Scout Association of the People's Republic of China (中华人民共和国童军总会), founded in 2008 serves Venture Scouts (15 years old to 20) in both genders as well as Rover Scouts (18 years old to 25). The Rover Explorer Service Association operate groups in China.
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