An elaborately staged Ping Pong Diplomacy “Rematch,” was held June 10-12, 2008 at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA. It commemorated the Ping Pong Diplomacy of 1971, when the Chinese surprised the World by inviting a U.S. table tennis team to go to China. It was an outstanding diplomatic move alright, for these guests of China comprised the first group of Americans to enter that country in over 20 years. There followed in 1972 the historic visit of President Nixon to China (“Better off in conversation than conflict”), and the reciprocal visit of the Chinese to the U.S.
The 25th Anniversary of Ping Pong Diplomacy was celebrated in 1997 with events in USA and China. Judy Bochenski Hoarfrost, an original member of the 1971 PPD Team, wrote this globe-trotting account of meeting Henry Kissinger in NY, and traveling with her family for her first trip back to China since the height of the Cultural Revolution, noting the striking changes that have taken place in China in 25 years and marveling at the role that table tennis has played towards promoting peace.
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