Ping Pong diplomacy

5 Stories

Kobe's Next Title: '1-Man State Department' to China

Lakers star makes inroads with new Chinese foundation

(Newser) - Yao Ming may be an NBA star, but the most popular basketball player in China is Kobe Bryant—he's plastered on billboards and even once had his own reality show on Chinese TV. The Lakers guard has made a deliberate push in the world's largest nation, and he's now establishing... More »

Pickup Ping-Pong Rules Chinese Playgrounds

Columnist gets schooled playing pick-up in Beijing

(Newser) - China’s domination in table tennis is well documented—the top nine players in the world are Chinese, and the country nearly always takes the gold medal. But the LA Times’ Bill Plaschke wanted to see the sport in its natural habitat: in the park. Ping-pong tables dot Beijing the... More »

Ping-Pong Got Ball Rolling to Beijing Games

Two players braved Sino-US frost with landmark '71 visit

(Newser) - It wasn't statesmen who broke China's 22 years of isolation from the West in 1971, but rather, Sports Illustrated notes, grown men with paddles. When Glenn Cowan accidentally jumped on the Chinese team bus during world table-tennis championships in Japan, star Zhuang Zedong brushed aside Mao's anti-capitalist harangues to greet... More »

Game, Set, Match to China

World of table tennis is international, but not really

(Newser) - Go to a table tennis match between, say, Poland and Finland, and you’ll see something confusing. “It’s just Chinese playing against each other,” says America’s national team coach. China is so mind-bogglingly dominant at table tennis that it exports players throughout the world and still... More »

NY Philharmonic to Play N. Korea

Musical diplomacy may help, says ambassador

(Newser) - The New York Philharmonic plans a historic Pyongyang concert in February, giving Kim Jong Il occasion to dig out his fanciest tracksuit—and further defrosting US relations with the onetime axis of evil member. “We haven’t even had Ping-Pong diplomacy with these people,” said ambassador Christopher Hill.... More »

5 Stories