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Ping Pong Diplomacy Revisited: Discussion and Demonstration

Three-time world champion in table tennis, Zhuang Zedong, discusses his role in U.S-China relations.

September 25, 2007 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Click here to read a report on Mr. Zhuang's presentation.


By 1971, Zhuang Zedong had already won three world men’s singles table tennis championships. He was a leading sports figure and was with the Chinese national team in Japan when he reached out to members of the American team. This gesture helped lead to the April 1971 visit to China by the American table tennis team. “Ping Pong Diplomacy” partially paved the way for U.S. President Richard M. Nixon’s 1972 visit to China. Zhuang Zedong’s Chinese national team visited the U.S. in April 1972.


Mr. Zhuang became a member of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party during the last years of the Cultural Revolution. After his patron, Jiang Qing was toppled in October 1976 along with the other members of the Gang of Four, Mr. Zhuang was jailed. He was subsequently cleared and took on coaching duties.


During his visit to USC, Mr. Zhuang will discuss his experiences as an athlete-diplomat and offer a table tennis demonstration.


Read a report on the visit.


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