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“Friendship First”: China's Sports Diplomacy during the Cold War

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image of Journal of American-East Asian Relations

The Cold War was an era of ideological conflict and hostility between socialist and capitalist countries. In this period of intense political animosity, the People's Republic of China (PRC) advocated the ideal of .friendship first. in sport. While the so-called .ping-pong diplomacy. of 1971 is well known because it contributed to détente between the PRC and the United States,1 there has been no comprehensive examination of China's Cold War sports policy as a whole. This study addresses this gap.


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