Richard Nixon photo

Remarks to Members of the Table Tennis Team From the People's Republic of China.

April 18, 1972

Ladies and gentlemen, and members of the Chinese table tennis team:

I am delighted to have the opportunity to welcome this team to the United States.

It is hard to realize that it was just a year ago that the American table tennis team, with Mr. [Graham B.] Steenhoven and his group, were welcomed in the People's Republic of China.

Premier Chou En-lai welcomed our American players, and as the President of the United States, on behalf of all the American people, I welcome the representatives of the Chinese team.

We know that in the course of your tour of the United States you will receive a good welcome. We know, too, that in the course of your contest there will be winners and losers. But there is one big winner, and that is more important than who wins a match in table tennis. The big winner, because of this people-to-people contact that you are initiating between our two peoples, will be friendship between the people of the United States and the people of the People's Republic of China.

Friendship between our two great peoples will mean a better chance for peace for all the world. And now we thank you for making this long journey. We hope that you continue to have great success and receive a warm welcome, and at the conclusion of our remarks, we want you to have a special tour of the White House.

Note: The President spoke at 12: 10 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. He spoke without referring to notes.

Chuang Tse-tung, head of the Chinese delegation, responded in Chinese. His remarks were translated by an interpreter as follows:

Mr. President:

After our arrival in the United States, the Chinese table tennis delegation visited the industrial city of Detroit, and also Williamsburg, an old, historical town which played a progressive role in the War of Independence, and on the 16th we have arrived here in Washington, the U.S. Capital.

During our visit, we have had friendly contacts with students, players, workers, faculty members, and schoolteachers, and were accorded a warm welcome by them all. We have personally felt the friendly sentiments of the American people towards the Chinese people.

This time last year the U.S. table tennis team, headed by Mr. Steenhoven, made a friendly visit to China, and today, in the warm spring season, when flowers are in full bloom, the Chinese table tennis delegation is here on a reciprocal visit.

The exchange of visits between the Chinese and American table tennis delegations is conducive to the furthering of the friendship and the mutual understanding between the peoples of our two countries, and this is in conformity with the desire of our two peoples.

In conclusion, I wish to extend our thanks to you, Mr. President, for receiving us in the name of our delegation.

Richard Nixon, Remarks to Members of the Table Tennis Team From the People's Republic of China. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives