Creating Peace. Together.

Why MasterPeace?

"Creating Peace. Together" is the slogan used for MasterPeace as it is a bottom-up,
grassroots organization which tries to involve people from all layers of the
society to build peace. Small events done by ordinary people may sound
unimportant, but can lead to major changes in the field of international
politics. Read here the following example of a small ping-pong tournament,
which led to peace talks between the United States and China after many years
of silence.

‘One of the first public hints of improved U.S.-China relations came on April
6, 1971, when the American Ping-Pong team, in Japan for the 31st World Table
Tennis Championship, received a surprise invitation from their Chinese
colleagues for an all-expense paid visit to the People's Republic. Time
magazine called it "The ping heard round the world." On April 10,
nine players, four officials, and two spouses stepped across a bridge from Hong
Kong to the Chinese mainland, ushering in an era of "Ping-Pong
diplomacy." They were the first group of Americans allowed into China
since the Communist takeover in 1949.

Ten journalists, including five Americans, were also invited to cover the
team’s visit, ending the information blockade from the People's Republic in
place since 1949. From April 11th to 17th , a delighted
American public followed the daily progress of the visit in newspapers and on
television, as the Americans played--and lost-- exhibition matches with their
hosts, toured the Great Wall and Summer Palace, chatted with Chinese students
and factory workers, and attended the Canton Ballet.

Premier Chou En-lai worked the public relations opportunity beautifully,
receiving the Americans at a banquet in the Great Hall of the People on April
14. "You have opened a new chapter in the relations of the American and
Chinese people," he told the unlikely diplomats. "I am confident that
this beginning again of our friendship will certainly meet with majority
support of our two peoples." He also extended an invitation for more
American journalists to visit China, provided they do not "all come at one
time." That same day, the U.S. announced plans to remove a 20-year embargo
on trade with China. A Chinese table tennis team reciprocated by visiting the
United States.

Ping-Pong was "an apt metaphor for the relations between Washington and
Peking" noted a Time reporter, as each nation signaled, in turn,
its openness to change. Despite the public warming trend, Nixon and Kissinger
decided to keep their back-channel negotiations with China to themselves. It
was not until July 15, after Kissinger's secret mission to Beijing, that Nixon
announced that he, too, would make the journey the following year, as the first
American president to visit China’.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect MasterPeace's values.


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