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Yao to court the world for Shanghai

[ 2011-12-06 16:37]     字号 [] [] []  
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Chinese basketball's big man, the retired NBA star Yao Ming, accepted his first semi-official position on Monday to work toward boosting Shanghai's international image.

Yao, a Shanghai native, was chosen as the deputy chairman of the Shanghai Public Diplomacy Association (SPDA). The semi-official organization, under the Shanghai Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, was set up to build on the relationship between the city's people and government and the world.

"As I understand it, sports is a very important part of public diplomacy," Yao said, citing the example of Ping-Pong Diplomacy. He said he will learn from that precedent and use his influence in China and the US to boost communication, understanding and cooperation.

In April 1971, China invited the US Table Tennis Team, which was in Japan for the 31st World Table Tennis Championship, to visit China. It was a significant step China made toward re-establishing Sino-US relations.

Yao said that he is thankful for the opportunity and looks forward to helping promote Shanghai's international image.

Retiring as a professional basketball player in July after eight years in NBA, Yao now runs a restaurant, basketball club and winery, and studies at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.


1. What is Yao’s new title?

2. When did China invite the US table tennis team?

3. Where does Yao study?


1. deputy chairman of the Shanghai Public Diplomacy Association

2. April 1971

3. Shanghai Jiao Tong University

(中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑)

Yao to court the world for Shanghai

About the broadcaster:

Yao to court the world for Shanghai

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.