iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for The Ping Pong Diplomats

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

Last on

Sat 21 Jun 2008 10:30 BBC Radio 4 FM only

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 21 June 2008

Garry Richardson casts a wry eye back to an unusual sporting exchange which marked the beginning of the end of Chinese isolation. In 1971, a team of table tennis players became the first group of Americans allowed into China for 22 years. They were pawns in a larger political game, used by both Chairman Mao and President Nixon to prepare the public for a massive foreign policy U-turn which ushered in a new era of diplomacy between the two countries. On their return the US immediately ended the 22-year trade embargo with China.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss