Ping Pong Diplomacy

The long history of Ping Pong Diplomacy

In 1971 table tennis played an essential role of reopening the relationship between China and the USA. After China’s Cultural Revolution and the accompanying 6 years absence of China in the world-wide table tennis community, China set a clear signal promoting the 31st World Table Tennis Championships in Nagoya China under the slogan “Friendship first, competition second”.

To go on, an US athlete only had to miss his team bus and be forced to take the Chinese one for a gift to be exchanged and a journalist to get the perfect picture of a Chinese and an US athlete walking side by side. China followed up inviting the US Team to a training camp, and in 1972 President Nixon finally met Prime Minister Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong, a starting point to normalize the diplomatic relations between both countries in 1979.

Our Sponsors