When South Korea’s Everland revealed on the 11th that pandas Lebao (10) and Aibao (9) gave birth to two female pups on the 7th, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a congratulatory remark, raising interest in China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin received a request for comment from a reporter from a Chinese news agency at a regular briefing that afternoon, and said, “Pandas are China’s national treasures and envoys promoting friendly exchanges between China and foreign countries. He said, “I hope that the newly born panda cubs will play a positive role in promoting friendly feelings between the peoples of the two countries, like my sister Fu Bao.”
Previously, the Chinese Embassy in Korea also detailed the health condition of the newly born panda and the process of her pregnancy through an article titled메이저놀이터 “Fu Bao: I have become an older sister” on its WeChat official account this morning. Chinese media poured out articles containing the news of the briefing of the Chinese embassy and the Chinese foreign ministry. State-run <China Central Television> ( CCTV ) introduced the birth process of the twin pandas in detail and introduced the cooperation between Korea and China before and after her birth, and netizens expressed their gratitude for the efforts of Korean breeders.
The reason why Chinese diplomatic departments are actively responding to the news of Everland Aibao’s birth is because they have been using pandas as a means of diplomacy from an early age. Pandas, a rare animal found only in China, were first donated in 1941 by Kuomintang President Chiang Kai-shek as a token of gratitude to the United States for supporting China.
Later, when US President Richard Nixon visited China in 1972 during the Cold War, a pair of pandas were handed over to the US, and panda diplomacy began in earnest. When the 1983 Washington Treaty made it impossible to sell or donate rare animals, long-term leasing of pandas was created. Pandas were handed over to Europe, Japan, Korea, and Thailand by rental method.
Panda diplomacy is effective in promoting friendship between the two countries, but it also causes conflict. In February, after the death of a male panda at the Membis Zoo in the U.S., and other pandas at the zoo were also found to be in poor health, anti-American sentiment grew in China, prompting public opinion to bring them back immediately.
It is also pointed out that raising pandas is too expensive. One million dollars (1.28 billion won) has to be sent to China for annual rent, and it is not easy to find bamboo, the stock of pandas. In 2021, Edinburgh Zoo in the UK announced plans to return the panda couple Yang Guang and Tian Tian, who have been raised for 11 years, to China. As the number of visitors decreased due to Corona 19, the business situation was not good, because they could not afford the huge rent and breeding expenses for pandas.