Diplomacy by a panda

Giant pandas are frequently sent from China panda to other nations as a form of diplomacy, a practice known as “panda diplomacy.” China gave pandas to foreign nations as gifts from 1941 to 1984. Pandas were no longer gifted but leased following a change in policy in 1984.

Ancient China

Although there are few historical accounts of the gigantic panda, David Crock writes that under the Manchu dynasty, “the aborigines of western Szechuan and eastern Tibet brought skins of this animal [bei-shung, thought to be the panda] as tribute to the government of China.”

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Diplomacy during the Republican era

Japan was laying siege to China, the United States had been providing assistance to the Kuomintang (Nationalist Government) in China, and Madame Chiang wanted a dramatic manner to express her gratitude. Previous pandas that were brought to the United States included Su Lin, Mei-Mei, Pandora, and Pan. Su Lin was sold to the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago by Ruth Harkness in 1937, Mei-Mei was brought back by Harkness in 1938, and both were sold to the Brookfield Zoo. Along with the two live Pandas.

Diplomacy during the Cold War

Although the People’s Republic of China started using panda diplomacy more prominently in the 1950s, the Republic of China began using gigantic pandas for diplomatic purposes in 1941[7]. This practice has persisted to this day. 24 pandas were given as gifts of friendship to 9 countries between 1957 and 1983. Among these countries were the Soviet Union, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom.

Mao Zedong pledged to deliver two pandas to an American zoo during the 1972 visit of President Nixon to China. Nixon gave the Chinese in return two musk oxen. The presents exchanged between the two countries served as an illustration of their then-developing diplomatic ties.

Lease guidelines

China panda leader Deng Xiaoping changed the rule in 1984 so that future pandas would be leased, rather than gifts. China panda gave two pandas to Los Angeles for the 1984 Olympic Games for a rent of $50,000 per month. In 1991, this procedure was once more changed to promote long-term leases.  China panda started leasing out pandas to foreign countries exclusively for five years. The typical lease conditions stipulate that any cubs born during the lease time become the property of the People’s Republic of China pand and charge a fee of up to US$1 million annually. Since 1998, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has only permitted a U.S. Zoo to import a panda if the World Wildlife Fund has submitted an appeal.

acclaim on a global scale

Pandas are understood to have diplomatic significance and serve as a barometer of China-related relations in other nations. Hu Jintao, the leader of China at the time, stated China will be leasing two pandas to Japan during his trip to that country in May 2008. Giant pandas are a symbol of the cordial connections between Japan and China, according to the leader, who was cited as adding “Giant pandas are immensely popular among the Japanese.”  Similar links exist between how pandas are treated and the pertinent foreign policy. For instance, British diplomats were concerned that the transfer of a panda from the London Zoo to Moscow in 1964 would deteriorate Sino-Soviet relations. [14] Robert Selleck, the deputy secretary of state for the United States, was shown in January 2006 cuddling a five-month-old panda cub while on a trip there.

concerns about animal health

Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui, a pair of china pandas, were delivered to the Chiang Mai Zoo by China in 2003 and sent to Thailand. Chuang Chuang was placed on a diet in 2007 because of his weight, and he passed away from heart failure in September 2019. The public began to attribute this incidence to China’s panda diplomacy, with many people contending that transferring the creatures outside of their native environment and internationally was harmful to their health, aggravating the population loss.

cost of maintenance

It costs a lot to maintain pandas. Aside from the cost of the “rent” paid to China, it is quite expensive to procure enough bamboo. Pandas normally only eat fresh bamboo, consuming 40 kg of it each day. When it comes to feeding its two pandas, the Edinburgh Zoo is said to spend $107,000 annually. Due of this, local gardeners started producing bamboo, and the zoo requested gifts of bamboo as a result. Bamboo supply was a factor in price decisions during the COVID-19 epidemic. The Calgary Zoo decided to send its pair of pandas back to China earlier than expected so they could reunite with their offspring due to the difficulty in obtaining a reliable and sufficient supply of new bamboo.

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