Started by a table tennis match, cultural exchanges between China and the United States have flourished over the years. It was the match in 1972 that marked the first cultural exchange between the two countries. That same year China sent two giant pandas to the US - Ling Ling and Hsing Hsing - in what has become known as "panda diplomacy". In 1979, the US established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. In the 40 years since then, cultural exchanges between the two nations have flourished.