China promises Australia two giant pandas

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jun.16 - 2024 9:59 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
The practice is known as "panda diplomacy."

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China has decided to lend Australia a new pair of giant pandas, a symbol of Beijing's diplomacy, to replace the current panda couple whose loan agreement is nearing its end.

Panda diplomacy

Prime Minister Li Qiang of China made this announcement on Sunday according to Hotnews, highlighting the significance of panda diplomacy in international relations.

Since 2009, Adelaide Zoo in southern Australia has hosted Wang Wang and Fu Ni, two giant pandas sent from Beijing under the practice known as "panda diplomacy."

This initiative serves as a soft power strategy for China, enhancing its global influence through cultural exchanges and goodwill gestures.

The Significance of Panda Loans

For China, lending pandas to foreign zoos not only promotes bilateral ties but also supports conservation efforts for this vulnerable species. These loan agreements typically involve returning any offspring to China after several years to contribute to the national breeding program.

Giant pandas, classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, are primarily found in China's bamboo forests.

Future Prospects and Economic Impact

Conservation programs have helped stabilize their population, leading to their removal from the endangered species list in 2016 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

As the current panda loan agreement with Canberra concludes this year, discussions are underway to select a new pair of pandas for Adelaide Zoo.

This exchange not only boosts tourism and local economies but also symbolizes goodwill between nations.