Pandas are Coming

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The giant panda loan agreement between Canada and China is about to take effect early next year. So the two panda cubs are coming to Canada and stay in Toronto and Calgary zoos for five years each. This is a diplomatic effort to boost Canadian oil sales an other trade between the two countries. Harper met with the now disgraced former Chongqing party leader during his visit, which now seems a bad idea. However, I think Harper will be excused for that move on the ground that he was not familiar with the inner-trends of Chinese politics, and Canada has a huge oil reserve that China drools over.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and wife with a panda cub in Chongqing, China.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and wife with a panda cub in Chongqing, China.

China has been using pandas as diplomatic gifts dating back to the Tang Dynasty when the Empress Wu Zetian sent two pandas to the Japanese Emperor. The most well known pair of pandas to America should be Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing that were given to America after the historical visit of President Nixon in 1972. Of course diplomacy with China goes beyond giving pandas, once to , well, ping pong players. How the U.S.-China relationship got out of the shadow was initiated by the invitation of the U.S. ping pong team to visit China in 1971. With the ping pong teams of each country visiting the other country, the ice between the two started to thaw. U.S. are China are not best friends in the world, however, their coexisting relationship started from this so-called ping pong diplomacy.

Shockingly enough, not all countries want the cute creatures with black and white fur. As much as I hate calling Taiwan a country, it seems to be the consensus of most countries, so I will go with that. Taiwan rejected at least twice the offer from to give two pandas when Taiwan was led by the party opposing friendly relationship or control in disguise. Finally, the change of Taiwanese leadership granted the offer, and Tuan-Tuan and Yuan-Yuan(name together means union) arrived in Taiwan in 2008.

Of course, Chinese are getting shrewd over the deal. Only loaning on a ten-year basis will be granted and a fee of $1,000,000 will be charged every year. Further more, any cub produced during the loan time will belong to China.

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