'Ping pong diplomacy' hero dies | Bangkok Post: news

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'Ping pong diplomacy' hero dies

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Zhuang Zedong, a triple world champion table tennis star who played a crucial role in thawing relations between China and the USA has died at the age of 73, the Chinese press reported on Sunday. 

Chinese communist leader Chairman Mao Zedong (left) greets US President Richard Nixon at his house in Beijing, on February 22, 1972. Zhuang Zedong -- a triple world champion table tennis star who played a crucial role in thawing relations between China and the USA -- has died at the age of 73, according to the Chinese media.

His gift of a painting of the Huangshang Mountains to American player Glen Cowan in 1971 led to a US tour of China later that year, and preceded the historic visit of president Richard Nixon to the communist country in 1972.

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