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HOW PING-PONG DIPLOMACY BROKE THE MOLD8/1/2020
In "Footprint", a series of stories recalling important examples of China interacting with the rest of the world, we follow the path the country has taken in the past seven decades.To get more ping pong diplomacy, you can visit shine news official website.

On April 7, 1971, the last day of competition at the 31st World Table Tennis Championships in the Japanese city of Nagoya, Connie Sweeris, the reigning United States champion, was called to a team meeting.

"We were told that we had been invited to visit China," she said. "But no American had been allowed into China for 22 years."Three days later, Sweeris was looking from a train window at an extended patchwork of rice paddies, dotted by men carrying buckets of water hanging from poles across their shoulders.

The train was taking Sweeris and her teammates - a party of 15, including nine players - from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, where they would start a weeklong visit to China.

What the young athlete did not fully realize at the time was that history was unfolding, and she was part of it. Then-US president Richard Nixon would visit China in February 1972, followed two months later by a reciprocal tour of the US by a Chinese table tennis team.

This period in history, known as ping-pong diplomacy, is even referenced in the 1994 hit Hollywood movie Forrest Gump, in which the lead character develops an aptitude for the sport and joins the US Army team before eventually competing against Chinese athletes on a goodwill tour.

The catalyst for the historic events of 1972 was a dramatic meeting between flamboyant US player Glenn Cowan and Chinese competitor and three-time world champion Zhuang Zedong.

In Nagoya one afternoon, Cowan was practicing with a Chinese player when he realized he was too late to catch his team's bus. Instead, he took the Chinese team's bus. Zhuang rose from his seat at the back to greet Cowan and presented him with a silk-screen portrait of the Huangshan mountain range in Anhui province.

Later, when Cowan and Zhuang got off the bus, they found themselves in the media spotlight. Asked by a journalist whether he wanted to go to China, Cowan replied, "Of course!"In a television interview in 2002, Zhuang recalled how he hesitated before approaching Cowan on the bus, and how he fumbled in his bag to find the gift. Cowan did his own share of fumbling, but was only able to come up with a comb.

Sweeris, now 72, said: "I was on the US team when this happened. Glenn told us he was so excited to have met Zhuang, the world's greatest table tennis player, but felt bad about not having a decent gift. He went out the very next day and bought his new friend a T-shirt bearing the words 'Let There Be Peace'."

Sweeris, like most people, was unaware of the deliberations taking place at national level for the trip, but recalls vividly the hectic preparations.

"We had to get permission from the US government. Our passports, which bore the words 'You cannot enter Communist mainland China', were taken to the US embassy to have the sentence struck out with a black marker pen," she said.

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The Perfectly Preserved 2,000-yr-old Chinese Sword without a Single Trace of Rust8/1/2020
In the Hubei Provincial Museum, located in Hubei Province in eastern central China, a perfectly preserved bronze sword from the Fifth century BC is displayed among the permanent collections.To get more sword of goujian, you can visit shine news official website.

The sword was discovered in 1965 during an archaeological excavation at the Zhang River Reservoir in Jingzhou. Nearly fifty tombs were found, yielding over 2,000 artifacts, among them the Sword of Goujian.

The weapon is 22 inches long with a repeating dark-colored pattern of rhombi engraved into the blade and is inlaid with turquoise.Embellished over the pattern are Chinese characters that, according to My Modern Met, translate to “King of Yue” and “made this sword for [his] personal use.” Most historians believe the sword belonged to Goujian, the King of the Chu State during the Zhou dynasty.

The sheath is made of lacquered wood and was found to be virtually airtight, which was probably a major factor in keeping the blade untarnished in the 2,000 years it lay in the damp environment of the king’s tomb.The grip is bound with silk, and the pommel is designed with eleven circles. The blade is made mostly of copper and tin and is as razor sharp as it was when the king held it in his hands.

The Epoch Times tells the story of Goujian, the owner of the sword. During the early reign of Goujian in the fifth century BC, the State of Yue was in a precarious position. A neighboring state, Wu, had conquered the Chu Kingdom and focused its sights on Yue. Goujian had just inherited the throne, and the State was in disarray.Helü, the King of Chu and Wu, wasted no time in attacking Goujian’s army which was led by Goujian himself. Although he was outnumbered and outgunned, Goujian succeeded in cornering Helü, and a duel was set. Goujian’s youth gave him an advantage and Helü was killed as his troops retreated.

Helü’s son, Fuchai, then became King of Wu, and he could never forgive Goujian for the death of his father. After rebuilding his army, he attacked the Yue State. Unable to work his way out of this fight, Goujian surrendered.He, his wife, and his right-hand man, Fan Li, were enslaved by Fuchai, and one of Fuchai’s advisors, Wen Zhong, took over the ruling position of Yue. During the three years of Goujian’s captivity, Fuchai’s attitude of self-importance grew exponentially.

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