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Ping Pang has become what basketball is to African Americans athletes for Chinese players, especially those born in the mainland.  It’s their social and economic ladder, it’s their passport to the world.  

“At last year’s women’s World Cup in Chengdu , 13 of the 16 players competing were Chinese, representing the mainland, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands, Australia, Austria, the United States, the Dominican Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the current World Championships in Guangzhou, 19 of the 48 teams featured mainland-born players,” reported South China Morning Post.   

But now The International Table Tennis Federation is banning those who switched countries from major events they organize.  Their rationale obvious: to keep the top players in their origin countries, and make sure they think twice before switching countries.  Hmmm, I wonder which country would benefit the most from this?  Which country has the most talented players? 

When the world (China particularly) seems increasingly embracing the idea of free market which entails the free flow of people, capital and goods, you hear news like this and couldn’t help but wondering: “huh?”     

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