China-US people-to-people exchanges- Vice Premier urges "basketball diplomacy"

Added On June 24, 2015

Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong has called for more "basketball diplomacy" activities to strengthen mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese and American peoples.
Liu made the appeal during a visit to NBA team Houston Rockets' home field Toyota Center.
Liu visited the Toyota Center on Sunday, where a group of Chinese student athletes from Tsinghua High School are working on a basketball training program. 
She said sports are an important part in people-to-people exchanges, which have played a unique and significant role in China-U.S. ties.
The vice premier said "Ping Pong Diplomacy" opened the gate for establishing China-U.S. diplomatic relations in early years.
And now the two nations need more sports diplomacy such as basketball diplomacy to continually enhance the mutual understanding and friendship.
Liu opened a basketball game between Chinese and U.S. high school students, and watched the game.
She pointed out that former Rockets All Star player Yao Ming, who was accompanying her in the visit, is now an envoy of China-U.S. friendship.
The vice premier encouraged students to become goodwill messengers like Yao to promote the two countries' friendship, and make contributions to the building of new type of major-country relations.
Liu said she hopes students will seize the overseas training opportunity to hone basketball skills, learn team spirit and enhance communication abilities.
Earlier, Liu met officials from the NBA to learn about its management and discussed cooperation between the NBA and its Chinese partners.

Liu will co-chair the sixth China-U.S. Consultation on People-to-People Exchange on Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington.