Chinese Ambassador to the United States Xie Feng and Connie Sweeris, American table tennis champion who went on the ice-breaking trip to China in 1971, together start a friendly game during an event held by the Chinese Embassy in the United States to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of Ping-Pong Diplomacy in Washington, D.C., the United States, on December 13 (XINHUA)
Chinese Ambassador to the United States Xie Feng has called on the two sides to draw inspirations and wisdom from their Ping-Pong Diplomacy over five decades ago.
In a speech at a recent event held by the Chinese Embassy in the United States to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of Ping-Pong Diplomacy, Xie said the China-U.S. relationship today is again at a crossroads.
"We need to re-break the ice between our countries," Xie said. "Since China and the United States managed to break the 22-year-long ice 52 years ago, we should have even greater confidence today to shake off the Cold War mentality, defy the 'political correctness', and leap across the trap of major-country conflict."
Connie Sweeris, American table tennis champion who went on the ice-breaking trip to China in 1971, her husband Dell Sweeris and Ms. Jan Berris, who received the Chinese table tennis delegation visiting the United States in 1972, recalled their experiences and shared their thoughts.
"I think it's very important to promote the relationship in table tennis," Connie Sweeris told reporters.
"And the more exchanges, whether they're educational, sports or music, or any kind of exchange between our two countries ... if we can learn to do that, I think we can break down barriers and open up communication that is just phenomenal," she said.
Jan Berris, now vice president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, also attended the event.
"On both sides, we now have images in our heads that are not the best of the other side. And I think we have to be willing to let those images go and open ourselves again, as just individual people," Berris told reporters.
The Chinese ambassador urged the two sides to reinvigorate exchanges between their peoples, and embark on a new journey in the China-U.S. relationship.
"The summit in San Francisco is not a finish line, but a new starting point for bilateral relations," Xie said.
"The pressing priority is to follow up on the meeting, enhance whole-process management, and in particular faithfully implement the common understandings reached between our Presidents, so as to stabilize and improve the bilateral relationship, turn the San Francisco vision into reality, and benefit both countries and the world," he said.
At the event in the embassy, a mixed-team friendly game was played to look back at history and renew the goodwill between the Chinese and American people.