“Pandas have at all times been an envoy of friendship between the Chinese language and American peoples,” Xi continued. “We’re able to proceed our cooperation with the USA on panda conservation, and do our greatest to satisfy the desires of Californians with a view to deepen pleasant relations between our two peoples,” he added.
The transfer follows a high-stakes assembly between Xi and President Joe Biden, who claimed the 2 had made progress of their mission to reset the fractured US-China relationship — although fault traces stay.
China lends pandas to zoos world wide on short-term exhibit and long-term scientific loans, and has lengthy seen the beloved and symbolic animals as a part of its diplomatic methods. “Panda diplomacy,” as it’s known as, has served as a mushy energy technique to enhance China’s picture and improve goodwill towards Beijing world wide.
However in recent times, China has chosen to not renew present panda mortgage agreements with American zoos. At its peak, 4 cities had pandas: Memphis, San Diego, Washington, and Atlanta. Now, solely the pandas stay in Atlanta, and they’re anticipated to depart as nicely by 2024.
Xi’s remarks are prone to spark pleasure amongst panda lovers, who just lately flocked to the Smithsonian Nationwide Zoo within the weeks earlier than their departure to have fun the pandas and catch a final glimpse of them. Comparable influxes occurred when pandas left zoos in Memphis and San Diego.