50 years on, Ping-Pong Diplomacy still elevates China-US ties(2)

2021-04-25 08:41:49Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download


Among Saturday's attendees were those from other sports while sharing a common feature as they were involved in sports in the two countries.

"Although we come from different countries and speak different languages, when we play the same game on the floor, we got chance to know each other. We can also take part in various activities before or after the game as opportunities to learn about each other," said Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) President Yao Ming, who spent a decade playing in the NBA.

By contrast, New Yorker Stephon Marbury played in the CBA for nine seasons before retiring and becoming the head coach of the Beijing Royal Fighters.

"As long as we have sports and it's in existence, it's always an opportunity for us to continue to work together," said Marbury.

For him, basketball can help in overcoming cultural differences between the two countries.

"It can play a part. We still have to continue to educate the people from America and people from China, trying to get them to understand both cultures."

In terms of winter sports, as the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games approach, China is ready to garner worldwide attention with less than one year to go.

Figure skating world champion Chen Lu said the arrival of Beijing 2022 will boost cultural exchanges between China and other countries.

"Olympics is a grand sporting event, and top athletes of all countries will gather here. It will facilitate an overall development of the winter sports in China," she noted.


"Ping-Pong Diplomacy" played a significant part in breaking the ice of Sino-U.S. relations, and still resonates half a century later.

Liu Guoliang, the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA) President, said besides a self-development, China also needs to shoulder the responsibility for advancing the development of world table tennis.

"Table tennis not just belongs to China, but to the world as a whole. As China is a table tennis powerhouse, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and World Table Tennis (WTT) need our support and help."

For Yao, exchange is the only way to neutralize the misunderstandings between different cultures.

"We need to set up a platform for exchanges, and sports can become a bridge in this process. It feels like I'm not familiar with you, but if we have got a chance to conduct more communication, whether playing basketball or table tennis, I will be more familiar with you," he said.

"Sports is a common language of human beings," said Li Jianming, deputy director of China's General Administration of Sport. "It has a special role in promoting understanding and friendship between peoples from different countries, and enhancing different cultures' integration and mutual reference."

"Table tennis is a carrier. We pass on positive things through table tennis and sports, and it needs to be inherited, generation after generation," Liu said.


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


Back to top Links | About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2021 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.