To commemorate a historic moment in diplomatic and sporting history, players from both countries will compete in mixed doubles at the World Table Tennis Championships in Houston.
50 years ago, Mao Zedong, the Chinese leader, invited the US table tennis team into China. The friendly matches that followed helped to break the ice in advance of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s breakthrough and secret trip to China a few months later. This allowed President Richard Nixon to openly meet the then-reclusive giant, and ultimately led to America’s rise to superpower status.
It is the right time to make a new breakthrough in goodwill. Relations between the US and China are at their lowest level since China opened to the world. Tensions boil over Taiwan, human rights violations, persecution of Uyghur Muslims, Beijing’s military buildup, and Taiwan.
It takes a lot of rubber paddles and bouncing plastic balls to solve this problem. Ping-pong worked in the past.
The Texas geopolitical divide will be bridged by two pairs: Lin Gaoyuan from China will join Lily Zhang from the United States. Kanak Jha, the United States’s representative in China, will join Wang Manyu.
Liu stated that these athletes can collaborate in the competition because they are good friends. This will allow fans from both countries to cheer them on and open a new chapter in Ping Pong Diplomacy.