Pandas of peace after basket-brawl match

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 August, 2011, 12:00am


The basketball match between the Hoyas of Washington's Georgetown University and the Liaoning Dinosaurs in Shanghai yesterday went relatively peacefully after the ugly scenes that marred a match in Beijing last week.

The 'goodwill' game on Thursday, between the Hoyas and the Bayi Military Rockets, erupted into a brawl, with players trading blows and fans tossing full water bottles.

It happened a day after US Vice-President Joe Biden watched a friendly between the Hoyas and the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons.

Last night, the US team defeated the Liaoning team 92-69 without any fighting. And before the start of the game in Shanghai Stadium, Hoyas players gave the Liaoning Dinosaurs players USA towels as gifts, while the Chinese players gave the US squad panda toys.

In Chengdu, Sichuan, Biden continued his charm offence and gave a speech at Sichuan University on Sino-US ties. Then he went to Qingchengshan high school in Dujiangyan, which was devastated by an earthquake in 2008, with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. After the quake, the US National Basketball Association donated four outdoor basketball courts and an indoor court to the school, which was built anew.

Biden attended an English class and chatted with students. They asked him about the US education system and how he perceived China's development. Biden said the US wants to see a 'rising China'.

Biden and Xi then signed a basketball and took a few shots. Biden said 'jet lag' before missing, then finally sunk one from close range.

Biden met five Chinese foreign affairs scholars before heading to Chengdu on Saturday. But it appeared the chat could not fulfil his appetite for Chinese thinking.

He was seen with Ancient Chinese Thought, Modern Chinese Power, a book written by one of the scholars, Yan Xuetong, when leaving the aircraft in Chengdu.