Zhuang, who won scores of table-tennis matches in the 1960s, was a key figure in organizing the famed "ping pong diplomacy" visit by a U.S. team in the 1970s that contributed to the establishment of diplomatic relations between Beijing and Washington.
China's Xinhua News Agency said Zhuang and U.S. player Glenn Cowan hatched the idea during a chance meeting at the 1971 World Table Tennis Championships.
Zhuang was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2008. His conditioned worsened in July when his liver began to fail, Xinhua said.
Exploding whale video goes viral on Internet
Gal Gadot cast as Wonder Woman for 'Batman vs. Superman'