Kwang-chow is a sports goods factory on the outskirts of Canton - and it could be said that China's so-called "ping-pong diplomacy" actually started here.
Kwang-chow is a sports goods factory on the outskirts of Canton - and it could be said that China's so-called "ping-pong diplomacy" actually started here. This film, shot by VISNEWS Cameraman Russell Spurr on Tuesday, May 4, shows the factory at full-strength production, with 280 workers turning out 1.6 million balls per month - as opposed to 100 workers making 80,000 balls a month ten years ago, an output increase of 20-1.
Pride is shown by local authorities in that this factory is undoubtedly true to the Chairman Mao teaching that people should help themselves by doing things themselves. When the original 100 workers were given the task of starting the factory in 1960, they really started from scratch. None had the faintest idea of how to build a factory - let alone make a table tennis ball. But, starting with a vice, a pair of bellow and a hand-drill - and working under a tarpaulin hung between two trees - they made their implements from scrap metal. Then they built the factory brick by brick. Then they went into production - and even they will admit that their early output left much to be desired. Some were known as "flying balls" because they were too light - and others, more critically, were known as "one strike balls" because they disintegrated at the first hit.
Today, made from a combination of cotton and nitric acid, the balls are used in championship matches throughout China - and were used in the recent international matches held in Peking.