Learning from China’s diplomacy
By Paul Lin 林保華
Taipei Times 210424
April 10 marked the 50th anniversary of the US and China’s “Ping-Pong diplomacy.” Washington and Beijing issued statements to mark the occasion, which betrayed a sense that both sides, like lovers apart, still hold a fondness for their previous relationship. The US should not at all be sentimental, as Ping-Pong diplomacy was a trap — a triumph of deceit and subterfuge for Beijing, and a five-decade strategic disaster for Washington.
It began in 1971 when Beijing extended an invitation to US table tennis players to visit China. It was the first time that the People’s Republic of China had shown goodwill to what it had hitherto castigated as “evil American imperialists.” The visit was a harbinger of a major strategic shift in Chinese foreign policy that would culminate in a visit by then-US president Richard Nixon two years later.