US Returns Three Giant Pandas To China After 23 Years

The US has returned three giant Pandas to China after over two decades.

The pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, lived in the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for 23 years.

The cute bears are returning to China because the loan agreement between the two countries is ending in December.

The Panda Diplomacy

China has been giving Pandas as diplomatic gifts for centuries, and the phenomenon is called Panda diplomacy.

The US received its first pair of Pandas in 1972, under the administration of President Nixon.

A decade later, China changed its intentions and decided to lend the animals for ten years.

Politics Behind Pandas

Political experts speculate that the expiring deadline might not be the only reason behind transferring pandas to China.

A former diplomat, Kurt Tong, told AFP that China is leaving the deadline to expire intentionally due to US continued support to Taiwan.

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