The USA had an embargo in place with China, due to having fought the Chinese in Korea during the Korean war. For 20 years no American set foot in PRC territory. At last though, the American table tennis team was sent to China. How was this possible? Was this a private initiative or part of U.S. foreign policy.

  • The ping-pong diplomacy took place almost 20 years after the end of fighting in Korea. And where do you get the idea that a team of sport players that were in an official (that is, supported by the Chinese government) visit were at risk? – SJuan76 Feb 9 '17 at 14:55
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    @SJuan76 - Reading through that link you provided, the two do appear to be related though. There was an embargo put in place as a result of that particular war, and they were the first Americans since it to travel to the PRC. I'll try to clean the question a bit, but I'm thinking perhaps you ought to just put your comment into an answer? – T.E.D. Feb 9 '17 at 15:18
  • What does ping-pong have to do with ideology? – Alex Feb 9 '17 at 16:07
  • @Alex - That does seem to be part of the question. – T.E.D. Feb 9 '17 at 16:26
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    This is a non-trivial question about a U.S. diplomatic initiative. I suggest that the question NOT be closed. – Tom Au Feb 9 '17 at 19:43

In 1971 or thereabouts, President Richard Nixon decided on a policy of "normalization" of relations with China. The arrival of the U.S. pingpong team was the first "feeler" in this process.

This was followed in 1972 by President Nixon's historic visit to China, ending the "Cold War" between the U.S. and China.

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