Xie Guochen was appointed China's head coach in 2013 and at last year's World League he led the team to third place in Group 3. They topped Pool G before losing in the semifinal to group champions Cuba. They beat Slovakia in the bronze medal match. It was China's first appearance in the competition after a three-year absence and a couple of months later they took joint-15th place in the 2014 World Championship after two wins from seven saw them finish bottom of their pool. The Asian Games finished off their season as they took fourth after being knocked out by champions Iran.
Having failed to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games, China are determined to win a berth at Rio de Janeiro 2016. China were among the eight teams in the first edition of the World League in 1990 and they have participated 15 times since. But they have enjoyed little success on the world stage in recent decades. Their best results have been a fourth-place finish at the six-team World Grand Champions Cup in 1997 and coming joint-fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games on home territory in Beijing. China have enjoyed better showings at continental level, winning the Asian Championship in 1997 and 1999, the Asian Games title in 1986, 1990 and 1998, and the Asian Cup in 2012.