Fact Box: ‘Zhuang Zedong’ – The Architect of "Ping-Pong Diplomacy"

Zhuang Zedong(72), Chinese ‘ping-pong diplomacy’ player passed away recently.

  • ‘Ping-pong’ = The game of Table tennis.
  • ‘Diplomacy’ = The art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations.

What was “Ping-Pong” Diplomacy?

File:Nixon Mao 1972-02-29.pngIt refers to the exchange of ping-pong (table tennis) players b/w the US and China in the early 1970s.

The ping-pong diplomacy led to betterment of relations b/w US and China and eventually paved the way to US President Richard Nixon’s visit to Beijing, China.  In 1972, the then US President Richard Nixon met Mao Zedong (The founding father of the People’s Republic of China from its establishment in 1949, who governed the country as Chairman of the Communist Party of China until his death).

Who was Zhuang Zedong ?

imageZhuang Zedong (72), famous Table Tennis star of China, is popularly  called the Architect of Ping-Pong Diplomacy”. Zhuang Zedong  who is known for his ‘Ping Pong diplomacy’ that paved the way for normalizing ties with the U.S., passed away.

Zhuang won several championships in the 1960s and remained World Table Tennis Champion thrice. He was as much remembered for his sport performances as for off the events. He is remembered for his chance meeting with American player Glenn Cowan at the World Table Tennis championship in Nagoya, Japan in 1971, the period when the relations b/w the US and China were strained. The meeting paved the way for taking ties between the countries out of the deep freeze.

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