Three large pandas boarded a 19-hour flight to China at the moment over fifty years after their species first arrived in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Nationwide Zoo. It is a transfer that some specialists are saying is the top of “panda diplomacy” as tensions between the U.S. and China proceed to develop.
“Panda Specific” FedEx B777-FS2 aircraft (N886FD), that’s carrying the three beloved DC pandas has taken off from the Dulles Airport (IAD) for the 19 hour journey to China.
It is the primary time in 23 years the panda exhibit on the Nationwide Zoo is empty.
🎥Joseph Olmo / NBC4 Washington pic.twitter.com/vMUJiawjF3
— FL360aero (@fl360aero) November 8, 2023
Pandas Head Again To China From Washington D.C.
“Goodbye, and bon voyage,” a Chinese language diplomat mentioned in a message to the pandas, who had been dwelling in Washington D.C. on mortgage from China, based on Fox News.
Mei Xiang, the feminine panda, was the primary to go away the zoo in a crate supplied by FedEx. She was later joined by male Tian Tian and their 3-year-old son Xiao Qi Ji, every of whom have been in their very own crates.
“The three members of the family are all in good well being and prepared for the flight,” the Chinese language diplomat mentioned in his full feedback. “As a diplomat in Washington, I say goodbye and bon voyage. As a Chinese language authorities official, I say welcome again.”
Earlier than the pandas left, Nationwide Zoo Director Brandie Smith gave a farewell speech for them, describing this as a “onerous morning” emotionally.
“It’s a second of pleasure as a result of that is another step in 50 years of a profitable large panda conservation program, and hopefully the start of fifty extra years,” Smith mentioned, based on NBC Washington. “Please know the long run is vivid for big pandas. We stay dedicated to our program, and we stay up for celebrating with all of you when pandas can return to D.C.”
❤️🐼 Whether or not he was somersaulting down a snow-covered hill, splashing in a bath stuffed with suds or snacking on bamboo shoots, large panda Tian Tian captured the hearts of hundreds of thousands along with his chill and goofy character. We want him secure travels to China. #PandaStory @smithsonian pic.twitter.com/tDxRyQ7DsI
— Nationwide Zoo (@NationalZoo) November 8, 2023
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American Panda-Lovers Say Goodbye
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The Nationwide Zoo had saved the pandas’ departure date a secret, solely revealing to the general public that they’d be leaving earlier than mid-November. It was not till early Wednesday morning that the zoo confirmed that the animals can be leaving at the moment, however guests nonetheless got here to say their goodbyes.
“We’re simply sending good needs with them on their travels,” mentioned one lady, with a bit of boy who was clutching his personal toy panda including, “I’m gonna cry once they go away.”
I normally watch the panda cam for stress reduction, now that the pandas are going again, I can’t do it anymore https://t.co/YiDCLi7UOX
— gemuk macam (@dugongterkapar) November 8, 2023
The National Zoo website states that this program started in 1972 after “First Girl Patricia Nixon talked about her fondness for big pandas to Chinese language Premier Zhou Enlai.”
“As a gesture of goodwill following President Nixon’s seminal state go to, Premier Enlai gifted two large pandas to the American individuals,” the zoo continued. “Nestled within the Nation’s Capital and with free admission, the President and Mrs. Nixon chosen the Smithsonian’s Nationwide Zoo as the house for the large panda bears.”
Right this moment, March 16, is #NationalPandaDay and the birthday of former First Girl Patricia Nixon. Mrs. Nixon was instrumental in large pandas coming to @NationalZoo. At dinner in Beijing, China in Feb. 1972, Mrs. Nixon talked about her fondness for pandas to Premier Zhou Enlai. #GP50 pic.twitter.com/7H94IbvyzD
— Nationwide Zoo (@NationalZoo) March 16, 2022
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Finish Of ‘Panda Diplomacy’
Dennis Wilder, a senior fellow at Georgetown College’s Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on International Points, described this transfer as “punitive panda diplomacy,” declaring that two different American zoos have misplaced their pandas to China lately.
Different specialists are saying that this marks the top of “panda diplomacy” amidst tensions between the U.S. and China.
“There’s little question that this can be a reflection of the state of bilateral relations,” Yun Solar, a China knowledgeable on the Stimson Heart, a international affairs suppose tank informed Politico. “The pandas are imagined to unify the connection with america, and the connection between the U.S. and China is so unhealthy anyway, what’s the purpose of the panda being right here?”
After greater than twenty years of “panda diplomacy,” Washington’s in style pandas are being returned to China. pic.twitter.com/ucueA3t6iN
— ABC Information (@ABC) November 8, 2023
This all simply goes to point out how a lot instances have modified for the reason that days of unity between the U.S. and China. What do you consider this? Tell us within the feedback part.
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