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In a historic agreement with China, the California Zoo will welcome two giant pandas.

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China has announced the loan of two giant pandas to the San Diego Zoo, a historic gesture that will boost international collaboration. This is the first arrangement of its kind with the United States in 20 years.

The San Diego Zoo is hopeful that the much-loved pandas will arrive soon, while specifics regarding the arrival date are still pending.

This declaration comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested sending pandas to the US as a sign of international friendship. Jinping expressed his intention to strengthen the cordial relations between the peoples of China and America in his remarks.

Following the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC’s decision to return its three pandas to China and cease a program that extended more than 50 years, the decision was made to relocate pandas to San Diego.

The San Diego Zoo, which said goodbye to its final pair of pandas in 2019, is excited for these loved creatures to return.

More than 20 countries are involved in China’s “panda diplomacy” initiative, which includes recent loans to European countries and, most notably, Qatar in the Middle East.

China stresses the need to protect pandas’ welfare wherever they are kept, even as it recognizes the diplomatic value of these animals.

Panda loans to the US have decreased recently, which is consistent with tense ties between the two countries. Sending pandas to the US is seen by some as a gesture by Xi Jinping to defuse tensions between the two biggest economies in the world.

Other US zoos, including the Smithsonian National Zoo, are looking for possibilities to host these iconic animals once again, with the hopes of a revival of panda diplomacy.

The world is still focused on panda conservation efforts because there are just 2,000 of these magnificent animals left in the wild and they are listed as vulnerable by the World Wildlife Fund. Talks about possible panda loans to other institutions are still ongoing.

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