Chong Zi and Qin Jize report in the China Daily:
Talk of skills on the soccer field and the Brazilians readily come to mind. The very mention of baseball reminds people of the Americans. There are people in other countries who are, or were, associated with one sport or the other, but perhaps none have used it on the diplomatic field as successfully as China. Beijing’s ping-pong diplomacy began in 1971 and opened the door for people-to-people exchanges between China and the US.
President Hu Jintao will now extend the ping-pong diplomacy to Japan on his five-day visit to that country that begins today to win the heart and soul of that country’s people. Adding real skill and charm to his endeavor will be Wang Nan, one of China’s most successful table tennis players. But she will pair with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. Giving company to Hu will be Ai Fukuhara, the darling of Japanese table tennis.