Richard Nixon’s grandson hails legacy of ping-pong diplomacy

Former US President Richard Nixon’s grandson Christopher Nixon Cox hailed ping-pong diplomacy between China and the United States as an example of an icebreaker between different cultures.

Fifty years ago, the American table tennis team was invited by its Chinese counterpart to visit China after the 31st World Championships in Nagoya, Japan. The American players landed in Beijing on April 10, 1971, becoming the first American group to visit the country since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. The Chinese team made a return visit the following year.

Dubbed Ping Pong Diplomacy, the episodes would ultimately have facilitated Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972 at the height of the Cold War and paved the way for the normalization of Sino-American relations in the years that followed.

“I think ping pong diplomacy has shown that when people get to know each other… they have very different cultures or are not used to interacting with each other, when you break the ice and that you work together, you learn to cooperate together, that’s the best way forward, ”Cox told CMG on the eve of the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships.

“By speaking, by interacting, we have found a way to overcome the differences,” he said, referring to the relationship between the United States and China. “While we may not be able to bridge all of our differences, at least what we can do is understand where we have honest disagreements, then put them aside and focus on the areas we have issues with. common points.”

He added that the two countries should find new areas in common and “work together towards a better future where we become more and more common in terms of political ideas”.

To mark the 50th anniversary of table tennis diplomacy, Chinese and American players will team up for the mixed doubles event at the final of the world table tennis championships, according to the International Table Tennis Federation.

Read more:

Find out how ping-pong diplomacy began

Kissinger: ping-pong diplomacy now reflects hope for future Sino-US relations

(Cover: Christopher Nixon Cox answers questions as he stands near an imminent photo of his grandfather, former US President Richard Nixon, at the opening of the New Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California , United States, October 14, 2016. / Getty)

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