50 Years Later, Some Question Value of U.S.-China ‘Panda Diplomacy’

50 Years Later, Some Query Worth of U.S.-China ‘Panda Diplomacy’

Partially due to the central position they play in U.S.-China geopolitics, pandas have benefited from high quality medical care and breeding and analysis efforts at services all over the world. American zoos have, in flip, benefited from the elevated foot visitors and income that pandas generate, serving to to offset the price of buying and retaining the animals.

In 2016, the enormous panda was removed from the endangered list and upgraded to “susceptible” standing by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Because the panda’s survival outlook has improved, consultants mentioned, China’s strategy to panda diplomacy has shifted, with the animals coming to function extra of a protect for China’s human rights abuses and a device to challenge smooth energy.

Susan Shirk, the chair of the twenty first Century China Middle on the College of California, San Diego, mentioned that if Ms. Mace’s invoice handed, it may harm a “mutually useful” collaboration amongst panda conservationists all over the world.

“The elevating of pandas ought to be performed on the idea of science,” she mentioned, “relatively than utilizing it as some form of leverage.”

Dan Ashe, the president and chief govt of the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums, mentioned that his group didn’t assist Ms. Mace’s invoice.

“This laws would threat ending a longstanding program that has contributed to the conservation of untamed pandas,” he mentioned in a press release on Monday.

The San Diego Zoo had pandas from 1996 to 2019, when its contract with China ended. Donald Lindburg, the zoo’s former director of large panda analysis, mentioned the enduring enchantment of the animals, for each the zoo and its guests, was easy.

“They had been extremely popular and plenty of, many individuals got here to see them” he mentioned. “They’re lovely.”

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