The roots of Chinese ice hockey date back to 1915 when a few games took place in Sen Jan Province. The next appearance of hockey was not until January 26, 1935 when the country's first tournament took place as part of the First Winter Spartakaide Games.
The Ice Hockey Association of the People's Republic of China was founded in 1951. Two years later, the first national championship was held. In 1956, the National Winter Sports Federation was founded and in March of that year the Chinese National Team made its international debut at the Universaide in Wroclaw, Poland. That same year an East German team journeyed to China for a series of exhibition matches. An unofficial game between this squad and the best of the Chinese teams was won by the Germans 10-1. A year later VZKG of Czechoslovakia toured the country. This initiated a relationship that saw several Czechoslovak coaches spend periods of time in China as instructors.
China joined the International Ice Hockey Federation on July 25, 1963. It played its first game in the "C" Pool World Championships in Miercurea Ciuc, Romania on March 3, 1972. The country's first victory came at the expense of Bulgaria by a 4-3 score. Since that time the national team has played at either the "B" or "C" Pool competitions. The domestic hockey has been centered in the northern provinces bordering the USSR with Harbin as the chief base.With Women's hockey enjoying rapid growth in the 1990's; China has seen more people involved in the game. Lake Placid, New York hosted the 1994 Women's World Hockey Championships and the Chinese Women made their debut and finished a respectable sixth. In 2000, China played host to the "C" Pool Men's Championships and captured the bronze