CHINA / SOCIETY
Big ‘ball’ of China-US relations still needs wisdom of Ping Pong Diplomacy to move it forward: Chinese ambassador
Published: Nov 24, 2021 02:41 PM
The US and Chinese national table tennis teams held a joint practice Monday night at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, US. Photo: CFP

The US and Chinese national table tennis teams held a joint practice Monday night at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, US. Photo: CFP

Qin Gang, Chinese ambassador to the US, urged the two countries to review the wisdom of Ping Pang Diplomacy and strive to improve current bilateral ties, in a speech at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Ping Pong Diplomacy between China and the US, in Houston, Texas on Tuesday.

Qin pointed out that in recent years, China-US relations have met serious difficulties, which does not serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and their people, and a better relationship between the two countries is the shared expectation of the two peoples, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. 

Chinese player Lin Gaoyuan will pair with Lily Zhang of the US team, while Kanak Jha of the US will team up with China's Wang Manyu, who recently won the Tokyo Olympic women's team table tennis gold medal, for the ongoing 2021 World Table Tennis Championships Finals. The two pairs of China-US table tennis players have won the first mixed doubles on Wednesday, Beijing time.

The US and Chinese national table tennis teams held a joint practice Monday night at the George R Brown Convention Center in honor of the 50th anniversary.

Lin Gaoyuan (4th from right) of China and Lily Zhang (2nd from right) of the US compete against Kanak Jha (3rd from right) of the US and Wang Manyu (1st from right) of China in a mixed doubles training session for the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, Texas on November 22. Photo: Xinhua

Lin Gaoyuan (4th from right) of China and Lily Zhang (2nd from right) of the US compete against Kanak Jha (3rd from right) of the US and Wang Manyu (1st from right) of China in a mixed doubles training session for the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, Texas on November 22. Photo: Xinhua

Ambassador Qin stressed that over the past 50 years, China-US relations have made historic achievements with every twist and turn. The seeds of friendship sowed by Ping Pong Diplomacy have grown into towering trees. Fifty years later, China-US relations have come to a new crossroads. The big "ball" of China-US relations still needs the small ball of ping pong to move it forward. That is the strategic vision, political courage and friendship among the people embodied in Ping Pong Diplomacy. And that is why we commemorate it today, Qin said.

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) celebrated the 50th anniversary of Ping Pong Diplomacy by presenting two mixed doubles players from the US and China. 

At the commemoration event held in Houston, the Chinese Table Tennis Association and representatives from the city of Houston exchanged gifts, and the ITTF announced that China and the US will team up at the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships Finals in the form of a multinational team, which is the continuation of the young generation of Ping Pong Diplomacy.

"Once again, we are all witnessing the unique power of sports and how table tennis can create dialogues and foster mutual understanding," Steve Dainton, ITTF Group CEO, commented on the pairing during the ceremony in Houston.

Late former US President Richard Nixon's grandson Christopher Nixon Cox has hailed the Ping Pong Diplomacy between China and the US as an example of an ice-breaker between different cultures.

Ambassador Qin added that as the old Chinese saying goes: "Friendship first." 

Qin said that "we believe that win-win cooperation is always the mainstream of China-US relations. We do sometimes compete, but we should follow the recognized rules like table tennis players, have fair and healthy competition, respect each other, appreciate each other, learn from each other, and make progress together."

Global Times 


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