Ping Pong Match Commemorates Ping Pong Diplomacy

Today marks 30 years since a ping-pong tournament broke the ice between the U.S. and China, paving the way to diplomatic relations. The occasion was marked in Beijing with a rematch. From the Foreign Policy blog:

[Photo from Foreign Policy blog]

In April 1971, China invited the U.S. table-tennis team to visit in what Time magazine called “the ping heard round the world.” One of the Americans was then 15-year-old Judy Bochenski Hoarfrost, right, who returned today to play veteran Chinese player Qi Baoxiang, left. The 1971 visit launched an era of “Ping-Pong diplomacy,” and according to Time, “Probably never before in history has a sport been used so effectively as a tool of international diplomacy.” Obviously, with the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it hasn’t been the only time China has used sports to try to improve its image.

See also reports from Xinhua and VOA.


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