Jose Luis Magana/AP
SAN FRANCISCO – Chinese language President Xi Jinping has indicated that China will ship new pandas to the US, describing them as “envoys of friendship between the Chinese language and American peoples.”
“We’re able to proceed our cooperation with the US on panda conservation, and do our greatest to meet the desires of Californians to deepen pleasant relations between our two peoples,” Xi mentioned on Wednesday throughout a dinner speech with enterprise leaders. .
The gesture got here on the finish of a day wherein Xi and President Biden held their first face-to-face assembly in a yr and pledged to attempt to ease tensions. Shi didn’t share further particulars about when or the place the pandas can be made accessible, however he appeared to point that the following pair of pandas would doubtless come to California, and presumably San Diego.
Bears have lengthy been a logo of friendship between the US and China since Beijing gifted a pair of pandas to the Nationwide Zoo in Washington in 1972, earlier than bilateral relations have been normalized. Beijing later loaned the pandas to different zoos in the US, with proceeds going again to panda conservation applications.
The Nationwide Zoo’s three big pandas, Mei Xiang, Tian Tian, and her cub Xiao Zhijie, started their lengthy journey to China eight days in the past. After their departure, there have been solely 4 pandas left in the US, at Zoo Atlanta.
“I used to be instructed that many People, particularly kids, have been actually reluctant to say goodbye to the pandas, and went to the zoo to say goodbye,” Xi mentioned in his speech. He added that he realized of the San Diego Zoo and that individuals in California have been “very a lot wanting ahead to welcoming the pandas again.”
Shi is in California to attend a Indo-Pacific Leaders Summit And his assembly with Biden. He made no point out of pandas throughout his public remarks earlier within the day when he met with Biden.
When bilateral relations started to deteriorate up to now few years, Chinese language individuals started to demand the return of the enormous panda. Unproven allegations that US zoos mistreated pandas, referred to as China’s “nationwide treasure”, have flooded social media in China.
However relations confirmed indicators of stabilization with Xi touring to San Francisco to satisfy Biden. The 2 males met for almost 4 hours on Wednesday on the picturesque Filoli Historic Home and Backyard, the place they agreed to cooperate within the struggle in opposition to medicine, resume high-level navy contacts, and increase people-to-people exchanges.
The change settlement between the Nationwide Zoo and the China Wildlife Conservation Society was scheduled to run out in early December, and negotiations to resume or prolong the deal haven’t yielded outcomes.
The San Diego Zoo introduced again its pandas in 2019, and the final bear at Tennessee’s Memphis Zoo returned dwelling earlier this yr.