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Diplomats, players salute the power of ping-pong

By Chen Weihua and Liu Yuhan in New York | China Daily | Updated: 2012-09-01 08:00

A game of table tennis in New York between a senior Chinese diplomat and a famed US player was about more than quick reflexes and spin strategies - though there were plenty of both to delight the spectators on hand.

As Sun Guoxiang and George Brathwaite chopped and smashed their way through their Tuesday evening game in China's consulate general overlooking the Hudson River in Manhattan, the legacy of "ping-pong diplomacy" for US-Chinese relations was on almost everyone's mind.

Brathwaite was a member of the US Table Tennis Team in April 1971 when it became the first American sports delegation to visit China since the 1949 founding of the People's Republic. The trip was a step toward normalizing the two countries' then strained relations.

Diplomats, players salute the power of ping-pong

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