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Commentary: Folks love pandas however what’s actually behind China’s panda diplomacy?

BRISBANE: There isn’t any query, the world loves China’s large pandas. The enigmatic, reserved herbivores evoke goodwill wherever they journey.

With numbers of untamed large pandas perilously low, although now not endangered, the uncommon arrival of a large panda cub, particularly in captivity, is a much-celebrated occasion.

Final week’s announcement of a cub born to large pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia — at present on mortgage from China to Singapore — is not any exception, attracting the delight of many, together with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

As the primary panda cub born within the Southeast Asian nation, this new arrival serves as a well timed reminder of China’s gentle energy attain.

GIFTS WITH A UNIQUE SIGNIFICANCE

China’s panda diplomacy is nothing new. Present-giving is sort of regular in diplomatic follow.

Animals, notably the place they maintain a singular nationwide significance, have lengthy been related to probably the most well-known diplomatic presents over time. And within the context of profitable hearts and minds, “cuteness” additionally issues. Australian koalas, additionally used for diplomatic influence, present one other widespread instance.

Relating to pandas, Tang Dynasty information date the follow to the seventh century, when Empress Wu Zetian is believed to have offered two “bear-like beasts”, regarded as pandas, to the Japanese courtroom.

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