panda diplomacy

Two giant pandas from China arrived in Indonesia on Thursday in an act of "panda diplomacy" aimed at celebrating 60 years of bilateral ties. Cai Tao and Hu Chun, both aged seven, arrived from Sichuan province and will be housed at a safari zoo in Bogor, a city near the capital Jakarta. The pandas were lent by Beijing to mark the diplomatic anniversary despite recent tensions between the nations, with a number of clashes between Chinese and Indonesian vessels in the South China Sea.

Germany had its first taste of panda mania on Saturday as two furry ambassadors arrived from China to begin a new life as stars of Berlin's premier zoo.

Two giant panda cubs are being prepared for a new life at a zoo in the Netherlands following a long airplane flight from China. [...] For decades, China gifted friendly nations with its national mascot in what was known as "panda diplomacy." The country more recently has loaned pandas to zoos on commercial terms.

China's President Xi Jinping, on the way to his eagerly awaited first encounter with Donald Trump, met his Finnish counterpart in Helsinki Wednesday, extending Beijing's famed "panda diplomacy" to Finland. The two sides agreed to carry out "cooperative panda research" and "make the pandas messengers of friendship between our two countries," Xi said at a joint press conference in Helsinki.

It’s called “panda diplomacy” and it’s thought to have started as early as the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century when Empress Wu Zeitan sent a pair of bears (believed to be pandas) to Japan. This Chinese policy of sending pandas as diplomat gifts was revived in 1941, on the eve of the United States entering World War II, when Beijing sent two cuddly black-and-whites to the Bronx Zoo as a “thank you” gift. 

February 18, 2017

Washington is saying its farewells to Bao Bao, the beloved giant panda that leaves the Smithsonian’s National Zoo February 21. Next stop: China. The 3-year-old has enthralled Washingtonians — and panda lovers the world over — thanks in large part to the zoo’s “panda cams,” on-site cameras that have captured the panda’s movements ever since her birth in August 2013.

Although China lacked the creativity to produce a soft power hit like the popular Disney movie, it seems to have the vision to shape something bigger: the “One Belt, One Road” initiative – the supreme mixture of soft and hard power, something similar to Joseph Nye’s idea of smart power. China has the power, now can ‘One Belt, One Road’ take it down the path to glory?

To establish a tourism image of “Panda” brand, enable the tourists from all over the world to visit panda and travel in China [...] the Global Tourism Marketing Activity “Beautiful China, More than Pandas” sponsored by National Tourism Administration of China and organized by Sichuan Tourism Development Committee was officially launched in Berlin, Germany on September 2.