How Ping-Pong Saved the World recounts the events of April 1971 when a U.S. Table Tennis team became the first Americans allowed to enter communist China in decades. Their invitation paved the way for President Nixon’s landmark visit just eight months later.
For eights days, 15 unlikely American Ping-Pong playing diplomats discovered the little known world behind the Bamboo Curtain. These unlikely diplomats were about to reshape history and in the process make a breakthrough of historic proportions and in doing so, foster the beginning of the end of the cold war.
Ping-Pong soon became a metaphor for the on-going difficult relations between the United States and China – two ideological opposites on the brink of detente. ‘Ping-Pong Diplomacy’ marked the beginning of a new relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China; one that over the next 40 years would evolve into the world’s most important bilateral alliance.