Chinese President Xi Jinping hinted late Wednesday that China would send the new pandas to the United States, calling them “angels of friendship between the Chinese and American peoples.”
Xi said during a dinner speech with business leaders, “We are ready to continue our cooperation with the United States on panda conservation, and will do our best to meet the wishes of Californians so that there is peace between our two peoples.” To deepen friendly relations.”
The gesture came at the end of a day when Xi and President Joe Biden met face-to-face for the first time in a year and pledged to try to ease tensions. Xi didn’t share additional details about when or where the Pandas might be made available, but it appears the next pair of Pandas will likely be coming to California, perhaps San Diego.
Bears have long been a symbol of the US-China friendship as Beijing gifted a pair of pandas to the National Zoo in Washington in 1972, before bilateral relations were normalised. Later, Beijing loaned the pandas to other US zoos, with the proceeds going back into panda conservation programs.
The National Zoo’s three giant pandas, Mei Jiang, Tian Tian, and their cub Xiao Qi Jie began their long journey to China eight days ago. After his departure, only four pandas are left in the Atlanta Zoo in the United States.
“I was told that many American people, especially children, were actually reluctant to say goodbye to the pandas and went to the zoo to see them off,” Xi said in his speech. He said he learned that the San Diego Zoo and the people of California are “very eager to welcome the pandas back.”
Xi is in California to attend the Indo-Pacific Leaders Summit and his meeting with Biden. Biden made no mention of pandas during his public remarks when he met earlier in the day.
When bilateral relations began to sour over the years, members of the Chinese public began demanding the return of the giant panda. Unproven allegations surfaced on Chinese social media that American zoos mistreated pandas, considered China’s “national treasures.”
But relations showed signs of stability as Xi traveled to San Francisco to meet Biden. The two men met for about four hours on Wednesday at the picturesque Filoli Historic House and Gardens, where they agreed to cooperate against narcotics, resume high-level military communications and expand people-to-people exchanges. Happened.
The National Zoo’s exchange agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association was set to expire in early December and negotiations to renew or extend the deal did not yield results.
The San Diego Zoo euthanized its pandas in 2019, and the last bear at the Memphis, Tennessee, zoo went home earlier this year.
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