This week the international table tennis world shifted its attention to Milwaukee as the Frontier Airlines Convention Center hosted The USA Table Tennis Federation’s US Open tournament featuring 700 elite table tennis athletes from 15 countries. The Open is part of Milwaukee’s 2011 ‘Summer of China’ designated by Mayor Tom Barrett.
The 2011 Open was politically significant in that it marked the 40th anniversary of “ping pong diplomacy,” a 1971 Beijing table tennis exhibition which helped open trade and diplomacy between the US and China. A Chinese delegation including several original “ping pong diplomacy” competitors and Chinese dignitaries attended the Open.
The “Summer of China” continues with The Milwaukee Art Museum’s summer series, The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City, contents of the Qianlong Emperor’s private retreat, on view now through Sunday, September 11. Milwaukee is honored to be one of few cities selected to host this never before seen exhibition and historic tournament.