After 45 years, ping-pong athletes who took part in a series of historic exchanges between China and the U.S. in 1971 and 1972 reunited at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the first stop on the Chinese table tennis team's visit to the U.S. in 1972. [...] "I'm very excited and joyful to be here and meet my old friends today," said Liang. "If it wasn't for Ping-Pong Diplomacy helping to break the ice between the two nations, there wouldn't be as much exchange and communication between China and the U.S. today."
This new article from Nahuel Oddone and Horacio Rodríguez Vázquez examines current cross-border relations and institutions in Latin America, and concludes with a framework to both strengthen and enhance regional cooperation.
Outside the White House, demonstrators protested against human rights violations in Vietnam, while a group of US lawmakers wrote an open letter to Mr Obama complaining about the invitation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called for dialogue based on equal treatment and mutual respect with the United States on Saturday in a congratulatory message to President Barack Obama marking U.S. Independence Day. Putin said U.S.-Russian relations remained important for solving global crises.
More prominent voices—today it’s the former head of the British army—are now advocating the previously unthinkable position that Western governments should open dialogue with Assad. I don’t see that happening, but as Reuters reports, the regime now seems to be expecting a quieter opening...
The Middle East is in turmoil and increasingly there is a need for the two regional powers, Iran and Saudi Arabia, to mend their differences in an effort to address urgent regional security matters. There is no denying that the Arab-Persian rivalry and sectarian divide is deep-rooted and will require serious dialogue and engagement to be rectified.
The international ramifications for China's slowly rebuilding reputation would be too much to bear even for the relatively untouchable Communist Party... On the one hand, Europeans are slowly becoming more reliant on Chinese bail-out money – do not bite the hand that feeds you. On the other, Europe must maintain its soft-power credit, even if only on the surface.