On November 9, The Yucatan Times published an article stating the importance of China’s so-called Panda Diplomacy.
On November 17th, Chinese President Xi Jinping signaled that China would send new pandas to the United States, calling them “envoys of friendship between the Chinese and American peoples.”
“We are ready to continue our cooperation with the United States on panda conservation, and do our best to meet the wishes of the Californians so as to deepen the friendly ties between our two peoples,” Xi said Wednesday during a dinner speech with business leaders.
The gesture came at the end of a day in which Xi and President Joe Biden held their first face to face meeting in a year and pledged to try to reduce tensions. Xi did not share additional details on when or where pandas might be provided but appeared to suggest the next pair of pandas are most likely to come to California, probably San Diego.
The bears have long been the symbol of the U.S.-China friendship since Beijing gifted a pair of pandas to the National Zoo in Washington in 1972, ahead of the normalization of bilateral relations. Later, Beijing loaned the pandas to other U.S. zoos, with proceeds going back to panda conservation programs.