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China is sending pandas back to the US

China is sending pandas back to the US

In November, the remaining pandas at the US National Zoo had to return to their home country. Now China has again announced that it is loaning two young animals to Washington. The gesture comes against a backdrop of cautious rapprochement between the superpowers.

The return of panda diplomacy. You can describe this development like this: China will transport two young panda bears to the US National Zoo in Washington by the end of the year. It was only in November that two pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, ​​and three-year-old panda cub Xiao Gui Ji had to return to their home country at a zoo in the US capital. The reason: a diplomatic crisis between Beijing and Washington.

But two-year-old boy Bao Li and girl Qing Bao will soon be back living in America. Bao Li returns to its origins. He is the son of Panda Bao Bao, born in Washington in 2013, and the grandson of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian.

A million a year for two panda bears

China will now lease the two animals for ten years until 2034. The zoo must pay US$1 million annually to the China Wildlife and Conservation Association. A profitable investment: Animals from China are considered crowd pullers.

Panda sensation at the Washington Zoo. Getty Images/Anna Moneymaker

The announcement came as a surprise amid strained relations with the zoo. During former US President Richard Nixon's historic visit to Beijing in 1972, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai first promised to loan two pandas to the US. Since then, Beijing has been sending pandas to the National Zoo in Washington as a sign of diplomatic ties.

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Xi and both tried to meet their needs

Recently, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have renewed efforts to reach an agreement between the two countries. Disagreements arise over issues ranging from Taiwan to China's military activity in the South China Sea, Chinese overcapacity and technological competition between the superpowers. (edition)

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