The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Future of Pandas in America

Panda’s Diplomacy
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A panda sleeping soundly on a cozy tree branch https://www.flickr.com/photos/fortherock/3899151934

Pandas have long been a tourist attraction in America, bringing thousands of visitors every year. Currently, however, all of the pandas are set to return to China and most of them have already made the journey. Why can China do this? Well, it is because of panda diplomacy, or China’s practice of leasing out pandas when they are on good terms with a country.  

For a bit of context, China does not sell or give other countries its pandas, instead opting to lease out its pandas. If you are wondering if you can rent a panda, yes… only if you have 1 million dollars per year, could prove it is for research or a breeding program, and have a good relationship with the Chinese government. China practices panda diplomacy because it allows them to exercise more control over foreign governments. For example, China sent pandas to Australia after a historic deal that gave China more access to natural resources in Australia. 

In 1972, America got pandas after Nixon’s historic visit to China, ever since then we have had pandas in our zoos. But recently Americans’ relationship with China has gone sour, and so when the leases for the pandas were up China did not extend it.  

For a while, China’s citizens have asked the Chinese government to bring pandas back to China. This was made worse when one of Memphis Zoos’ pandas died unexpectedly. Many Chinese citizens thought the death was preventable and rallied to get the one remaining panda in the Memphis Zoo back to China 

However, the future of pandas in America is not all lost. Xi Jinping, China’s leader, said, “We are ready to continue our cooperation with the United States on panda conservation, and do our best to meet the wishes of the Californians so as to deepen the friendly ties between our two peoples.”

So we might see pandas gracing our shore again in the next couple of years. But know that pandas in our zoos do come with expectations on how our country acts in regards to China. 

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About the Contributor
Abria Joshua, Staff Writer & Senior Copy Editor
Hi, My name is Abria Joshua! I’m currently a sophomore at Gateway and it is my first year here. I am in the book club, mock trial, stage crew, and the senior copy editor for The Chomp! Outside of school, this is my third year doing team policy debate through NCFCA. I want to go into something science or politics related to hopefully work in conservation. I love all things reading, art, and animals!
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