China Focus: China celebrates ping-pong diplomacy; America shrugs

China Focus examines why the 50th anniversary of ping-pong diplomacy was such a big deal in China and asks why America ignored the celebration.

It was a significant moment for both countries, and given this April was the 50th anniversary of the occasion, it seemed only right that it be remembered with great gusto and aplomb. Yet how both sides chose to mark the milestone could not have been more different.

In Beijing, a grand event was organised on April 22 by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) under the theme of “friendship first, competition second” – the same phrase in which Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai welcomed the US team in 1971.

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