On the day Zhou Enlai welcomed the American ping-pong team in Beijing, President Nixon announced the termination of the twenty-year-old embargo on China. He also ordered a series of steps taken for easing currency and shipping controls applying to China. The glacier that isolated the two nations started to melt.
"Ping Pong Diplomacy: 40 Years Later.” YouTube, uploaded by Chinadailyus, 30 Aug. 2012
The uniqueness of Ping-Pong diplomacy became known as the “people-to-people” initiative. Since the exchange was primarily between sports teams, Americans saw the Chinese invitation as a desire for communication with no political overtones. This allowed Chinese and American diplomats to escape sensitive issues like the Vietnam War. The games engaged citizens of both countries and built a sense of camaraderie between the two nations' people, which would be a foundation for further development in the diplomatic relations. Years later, people still remember this story fondly.