MANILA, Philippines - Hong Kong Olympic Committee (HOC) president Timothy Fok yesterday bared plans of partnering with Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to further introduce the sport of Xiangqi or Chinese chess in the Filipino-Chinese communities in the country.

Fok, in a press conference at the Manila Hotel, said they are conducting series of consultative meetings with sports officials from other countries in their effort to catapult Xiangqi as a regular sports event in the 2022 Asian Games that will be held in Guangzhou, China.

“Xiangqi is much more than a game. It is actually a part of 2,000 years of culture. And I think in many ways, it [Xiangqi] reflects not only the Chinese but all of Asia,” said Fok, who is also the chairman Hong Kong Institute of Sports.

“Next year, we will be in Indonesia and the following year, we will be in Japan,” he added.

Fok also said they are pushing to make Xiangqi popular globally. The four-day tournament which has some US$40,000 or P5 million cash prize at stake welcomed at least 100 participants from 26 countries including the United States of America (USA) and Russia.

“This game has no gender, no age and is also a game you get hooked on,” Fok said.

PSC Chairman William “Butch” I. Ramirez, for his part, said he supports Fok’s commitment in introducing Xiangqi across the globe.

“We will coordinate with the Philippine Xiangqi Federation (PXF) to introduce the sport in the Filipino-Chinese communities here in the Philippines,” said Ramirez, who is presently serving his second term as PSC Chairman.

This is Ramirez’ personal commitment for Fok who is an acquaintance of his.

The games were last held in Munich, Germany in 2015.