Orville Schell, Connie Swears, Bo Henske discussed on Weekend Edition Saturday
Music playing, and it was very, You know, it was just very rousing, You know, very It was like being in a movie. Really. It was just very dramatic. The team had been in Japan competing in the world Championships two days before the tournament ended team China surprised the Americans with an invitation to come to their country and play some games. The U. S team had to get a green light from the State Department and as a minor whore. Frost, whose maiden name is Bo Henske, had to get permission from her parents. Then, of course, they said, Yes, we could go Good evening. The bamboo cut has been cracked by a think on ball. That improbable moment might not have been a spontaneous as it looked. President Nixon thought engagement with China could help end the Vietnam War. And Chinese leader Maza don't knew that isolation and perpetual estrangement from the U. S was bad for China. They also shared a common foe, the Soviet Union. But there was a hitch by the time lick. Some become president in early 90 60 lying there was no contact new channel for the two sides toe talk to each other from she is an expert in Cold War China US relations at Long Island University. He says Nixon told his national security adviser Henry Kissinger to reopen talks with China in Poland. Kissinger, in turn, asked the U. S ambassador there to make contact and it happened in December 1969 at a fashion show in the Polish capital. U S ambassador spotted the second secretary from the Chinese Embassy who promptly bolted and America ambassador run after him as said, I have important message for your country. Your ambassador China got the message. The Warsaw Channel was reopened in 1970. The stage was soon set for a Ping Pong invitation. Orville Schell is director of the center on US China relations at the Asia Society. He was a journalist covering China in the seventies. The whole policy of engagement began with Ping Pong diplomacy. Three months after the Ping Pong games, Nixon made a stunning announcement. Premier Chou en lai on behalf of the government. The People's Republic of China. Has extended an invitation to President Nixon to visit China. Beijing was soon admitted to the United Nations and by the end of the decade, China and the U. S had established diplomatic ties Orville Schell again You could say that 1971 was the book of Genesis. For the chapter, which we now conclusively come to an end in namely that somehow we would find a way. Get along and work things out. Back. Then there was political will for rapprochement, and he says it made strategic sense. Now we're heading in the other direction. There's bipartisan support for a tougher posture toward China as its power grows. Trump Administration officials proclaimed the policy of engagement of failure and set out to decouple the world's two biggest economies. So far, the Biden administration is taking a similar attack. I can 71 China was impoverished and weak. That's not the case anymore, and Shell says its leader is feeling emboldened. Shi Jin ping is very unrepentant. And presently, I think she Jinping's motive is not to show any difference to the West, not to events any need to come together or compromised, all of which makes it hard to imagine anything like Ping Pong diplomacy happening today, he says. Was even growing talk of a possible boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China over human rights. Connie Swears was on the trip to China 50 years ago that broke the ice. She says. A boycott is the opposite of what's needed. You're stopping the exchange of normal people and athletes getting together and And that's where I feel. Barriers get broken down, including barriers that nobody thought could be broken. John Rue Itch. NPR news candidate kept its coronavirus numbers down during most of the pandemic and envy to its southern.