3 Giant Pandas Head Back To China From DC’s Smithsonian National Zoo As 50-Year Program Comes To An End

Three big pandas boarded a 19-hour flight to China at present over fifty years after their species first arrived in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Nationwide Zoo. It is a transfer that some consultants are saying is the tip of “panda diplomacy” as tensions between the U.S. and China proceed to develop.

Pandas Head Again To China From Washington D.C.

“Goodbye, and bon voyage,” a Chinese language diplomat stated in a message to the pandas, who had been dwelling in Washington D.C. on mortgage from China, in accordance with Fox News.

Mei Xiang, the feminine panda, was the primary to go away the zoo in a crate supplied by FedEx. She was later joined by male Tian Tian and their 3-year-old son Xiao Qi Ji, every of whom have been in their very own crates.

“The three members of the family are all in good well being and prepared for the flight,” the Chinese language diplomat stated in his full feedback. “As a diplomat in Washington, I say goodbye and bon voyage. As a Chinese language authorities official, I say welcome again.”

Earlier than the pandas left, Nationwide Zoo Director Brandie Smith gave a farewell speech for them, describing this as a “laborious morning” emotionally.

“It’s a second of pleasure as a result of that is another step in 50 years of a profitable big panda conservation program, and hopefully the start of fifty extra years,” Smith stated, in accordance with NBC Washington. “Please know the longer term is shiny for big pandas. We stay dedicated to our program, and we stay up for celebrating with all of you when pandas can return to D.C.”

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American Panda-Lovers Say Goodbye

The Nationwide Zoo had saved the pandas’ departure date a secret, solely revealing to the general public that they’d be leaving earlier than mid-November. It was not till early Wednesday morning that the zoo confirmed that the animals could be leaving at present, however guests nonetheless got here to say their goodbyes.

“We’re simply sending good needs with them on their travels,” stated one girl, with a little bit boy who was clutching his personal toy panda including, “I’m gonna cry after they go away.”

The National Zoo website states that this program started in 1972 after “First Girl Patricia Nixon talked about her fondness for big pandas to Chinese language Premier Zhou Enlai.”

“As a gesture of goodwill following President Nixon’s seminal state go to, Premier Enlai gifted two big pandas to the American individuals,” the zoo continued. “Nestled within the Nation’s Capital and with free admission, the President and Mrs. Nixon chosen the Smithsonian’s Nationwide Zoo as the house for the big panda bears.”

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Finish Of ‘Panda Diplomacy’

Dennis Wilder, a senior fellow at Georgetown College’s Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on World Points, described this transfer as “punitive panda diplomacy,” mentioning that two different American zoos have misplaced their pandas to China in recent times.

Different consultants are saying that this marks the tip of “panda diplomacy” amidst tensions between the U.S. and China.

“There’s little question that this can be a reflection of the state of bilateral relations,” Yun Solar, a China skilled on the Stimson Heart, a overseas affairs assume tank informed Politico. “The pandas are purported to unify the connection with america, and the connection between the U.S. and China is so unhealthy anyway, what’s the purpose of the panda being right here?”

This all simply goes to indicate how a lot instances have modified for the reason that days of unity between the U.S. and China. What do you consider this? Tell us within the feedback part.

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