CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Chicago celebrates 40th anniversary of China-U.S. "ping pong diplomacy"

12-20-2011 16:29 BJT

CHICAGO, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Prominent members of Chinese and U.S. communities in Chicago came together Monday to mark the 40th anniversary of "ping pong diplomacy."

Those attending the Chinese American Association of Greater Chicago event shared reflections on how much the China-U.S. relationship had evolved since the table tennis initiative led to the establishment of diplomatic ties in the early 1970s.

Chinese Consul General to Chicago Yang Guoqiang said, "We have witnessed the extraordinary progress and the most remarkable change, and it is because of ping pong diplomacy, because of the friendship created in that game that led us to the most dynamic and most important bilateral relations today in the world." He said he was optimistic about the future.

This invitation for a friendly ping pong game between the two nations later paved the way for a visit by then U.S. President Richard Nixon to China, and eventually the formal reopening of a diplomatic relationship that has grown to become one of the most-watched in the world.

"The two governments are cooperating with each other to deal with many of the hotspot issues in the world today, working together on many, many critical issues ... We have far more in common interests to work together," Yang said.

Former president of the Midwest U.S. Chinese Association John Rogers also gave a presentation on the relationship and how the two countries had become closer through the years.

Although Rogers' slides included the requisite charts tracking China's rapid economic growth, his and the crowd's favorite parts were a series of black and white pictures all done in the same ping pong diplomacy spirit, from Nixon getting a chopsticks lesson from Zhou Enlai, to Deng Xiaoping trying on a cowboy hat in Texas.

Both Rogers and Yang agreed that perhaps the most important thing for strengthening China-U.S. relations in the future were these very ordinary people-to-people exchanges that take place everyday in cross-cultural friendships, and the continued learning experiences such exchanges present.

According to Yang, there are currently 40,000 Chinese students studying in the U.S. Midwestern district alone. With the "cultural ambassadorship" of these students and the thousands of U.S. businesses expanding in the Chinese mainland every year, Yang and many others hope the relationship will only grow stronger.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program