Sequel to 'ping pong diplomacy' a reminder for US politicians to drop cold war mentality: Chinese FM
Published: Nov 23, 2021 10:33 PM

Photo: website of World Table Tennis

Photo: website of World Table Tennis


The sequel to the 50-year-old ping pong diplomacy is cheering news for both Chinese and US people, but it's also a reminder to some politicians to drop their cold war mentality, said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Tuesday. 

On Monday, the International Table Tennis Federation announced that two pairs of China-US table tennis players will debut and make history at the upcoming 2021 World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, the US to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ping pong diplomacy. 

Half a cenurtury ago, despite the great differences between the political systems and historical cultures of China and the US, athletes from the two countries exchanged gifts and warm hugs, reflecting sincerity and friendliness from their hearts, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a routine news conference. 

Their interaction was a sensation in the world and touched both peoples, successfully contributing to the gradual breaking of the ice between the two countries.

"The most important insight we learned from ping pong diplomacy is that as long as mutual respect and equal treatment are maintained, countries with different historical backgrounds and social systems can achieve peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation," Zhao said. 

The US public has many biased perceptions of China due to some political forces. In this environment, it is necessary to make the people of both sides understand through direct, civil contact, Zhang Tengjun, an assistant research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times.

Zhao pointed out that the revival of ping pong diplomacy between China and the US is uplifting for both countries and a good reminder for some US politicians.

"We cannot allow the cold war mentality to dominate today's China-US relations, and we cannot engage in ideological line drawing and confrontation anymore," Zhao noted. 

Experts told the Global Times that the cooperation is a friendly signal from both sides.

"It is a good statement as the China-US relationship is in a third phase of reconstruction, but its exact direction will depend on the actual actions of the US instead of words," Tao Wenzhao, a research fellow at the Institute of American Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

A healthy and stable China-US relationship requires a new way of diplomatic thinking that responds to the aspirations of both peoples and is in line with the trend of the times, Zhao said on Tuesday, reminding the US to follow up on previous statements that it does not seek a new cold war with China. 

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