To Seek Common Grounds in China-U.S. Relations in the Spirit of Ping Pong Diplomacy

April 10 , 2021 09:45 AM by CUI Tiankai

[Author]CUI Tiankai

Chinese Ambassador to the United States

Senior Advisor of iGCU, Peking University


The Ping Pong Diplomacy of 50 years ago is of special significance in the history of China-U.S. relations. It opened up a creative and unique way of communication between the two peoples, who had been separated for decades, and sent a signal to both countries and the world that China and the United States would improve their relations, thus ushering in a series of major events from President Nixon’s visit to China to the establishment of China-U.S. diplomatic relations. This event indeed went beyond sport exchanges and had a far-reaching impact on shaping the China-U.S. relations and the world landscape, giving us profound insights:

First, China and the U.S. can and must transcend their differences and find a way to win-win cooperation. Today, the China-U.S. relationship faces a critical choice as to its future path. The two sides should inherit and carry forward the spirit of Ping Pong Diplomacy featuring mutual respect and seeking common ground while reserving differences, so as to ensure the sustained and steady progress of our relations.

Second, China and the United States share the common responsibility of maintaining world peace, stability and prosperity. Ping Pong Diplomacy moved the big ball, and the normalization of China-U.S. relations has not only affected our two countries, but profoundly changed the Asia-Pacific and even global strategic landscape, deepened globalization, and delivered enormous benefits to the people of both countries and the entire world. In the face of varied global challenges, the two countries should strengthen coordination and collaboration on issues such as COVID-19 response, climate change and economic recovery, provide more public goods to the world, and make globalization more open, inclusive, balanced, and beneficial to all.

Third, people-to-people exchanges have always been an engine and lubricant of China-U.S. relations. For a long time, the two countries have maintained frequent personnel exchanges and booming cooperation in sports, education, science and technology, culture and other fields. Regrettably, some on the U.S. side keep creating obstacles for our people-to-people exchanges. This is against the aspirations and common interests of the two peoples. We hope the U.S. side will remove the stumbling stones as soon as possible, resume regular people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, encourage more people to get involved in the cause of China-U.S. friendship, and work with the Chinese side to strengthen the foundation of friendship and cooperation between our two countries.

To build a community with a shared future for mankind together with all peoples, including the American people, is China’s constant pursuit. China is willing and ready to work with the U.S. side in the Ping Pong spirit of mutual respect, friendship and win-win, with a view to helping each other to achieve greater success through mutually beneficial cooperation and healthy competition.