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40 years of 'Ping Pong Diplomacy' marked in New York


16:52, August 29, 2012

NEW YORK, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger attended a reception at the Chinese consulate here to commemorate the 40th anniversary of "Ping Pong Diplomacy," which helped put China-U.S. relations back on track.

The reception, hosted by Consul General Sun Guoxiang, brought together hundreds of members from the Chinese and U.S. communities and witnesses of the historic event.

"Ping Pong Diplomacy" refers to the exchange of table tennis players between the U.S. and China in the early 1970s. The ping pong games marked a thaw in then-strained China-U.S. relations, paving the way for the normalization of their ties.

Recalling the story of negotiating with the Chinese government over the visit of the U.S. table tennis team, Kissinger, 89, can still recount every detail as if the exchange happened recently.

He also shared reflections on how much China-U.S. relations have evolved since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in the early 1970s.

"This is not a favor either country does to another. This is a necessity for the people of both countries and for the people of the world," Kissinger said.
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