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Big Pandas Are Returning to San Diego, China Proclaims

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The US and China could also be at odds today over Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, low cost Chinese language exports, tensions with Taiwan and issues of human rights.

However in the case of large pandas, diplomacy is again.

The Ministry of Overseas Affairs in China confirmed this week that two large pandas — Yun Chuan and Xin Bao — can be despatched from the China Conservation and Analysis Middle to the San Diego Zoo. The zoo has a longstanding partnership with China on panda conservation analysis, and a ministry spokesman mentioned the upcoming trade would concentrate on prevention and therapy of main illnesses and habitat safety.

“We imagine as China-U.S. cooperation on this space deepens, it’s going to improve the capability for cooperation and analysis on endangered wildlife and biodiversity conservation and contribute to the conservation of endangered wildlife and the friendship between Chinese language and People,” the spokesman, Lin Jian, mentioned.

It isn’t clear when the brand new pandas will arrive, however the settlement ought to allay issues that the current tensions between the USA and China would threaten the beloved custom of panda diplomacy.

China has been lending the bears to American zoos for greater than 5 many years as a pleasant gesture between the 2 nations. However with the USA returning most of its pandas to China over the previous a number of years, many admirers had nervous that the apply might be ending.

In November, two grownup pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, and their 3-year-old cub, Xiao Qi Ji, had been pushed in vans from the Nationwide Zoo in Washington after which flown again to China on a FedEx Boeing 777 known as the Panda Specific. The San Diego Zoo despatched its final pandas again in 2019. Final April, the Memphis Zoo returned its feminine large panda, Ya Ya.

Leaders of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s conservation group just lately traveled to China to satisfy with the pandas. Yun Chuan is an almost 5-year-old male whose mom was born within the San Diego Zoo in 2007. Xin Bao, an almost 4-year-old feminine, was born in Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base in Sichuan Province and, in line with the conservation alliance, is understood to be a “mild and witty introvert.”

“Our partnership over the many years has served as a robust instance of how, once we work collectively, we will obtain what was as soon as regarded as unattainable,” mentioned Dr. Megan Owen, the vice chairman of conservation science at San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. “We’ve got a shared objective of making a sustainable future for large pandas.”

The announcement follows current efforts amongst high Biden administration officers to regular the U.S. relationship with China.

In April, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken made separate journeys to China, the place they expressed concern about points reminiscent of China’s current surge in inexperienced vitality exports and human rights violations within the Xinjiang area.

Consultants within the relationship between the USA and China expressed appreciation for the pandas’ symbolism however famous that many weightier points nonetheless required extra progress.

Eswar Prasad, the previous head of the Worldwide Financial Fund’s China division, expressed hope that the collaboration on panda conservation might result in extra cooperation on areas reminiscent of local weather change.

“A pair of pandas, cute and fluffy although they may be, is not going to by themselves do a lot to ease China-U.S. tensions,” mentioned Mr. Prasad, who can also be a Cornell College professor. “Nonetheless, it’s definitely a wholesome portent if the 2 sides can proceed cooperation on points the place they’ve widespread goals whereas conserving these separate from points on which they’ve deep-rooted conflicts.”

And whereas China’s pandas have been granted passage to San Diego, flights for American and Chinese language vacationers stay restricted.

“I’m glad that the U.S. and China can discover a option to cooperate on or trade actually something,” mentioned Meg Rithmire, a Harvard Enterprise College professor who specializes within the comparative political financial system of growth with a concentrate on China. “I’d prefer to see extra visas and visits for people, too.”

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