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Future of panda loans in doubt as US prepares to farewell Washington stars

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Panda diplomacy: future of Chinese loans in doubt as US prepares to farewell Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and Xiao Qi Ji

The National Zoo has hosted pandas since then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai sent a pair to Washington in 1972A halt in panda loans would coincide with an increasingly frosty political relationship between the US and ChinaUS-China relationsVictoria BelaPublished: 8:00pm, 2 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Sunday marked the end of a farewell party lasting more than a week for three pandas set to leave Washington’s National Zoo in December, and the United States may soon be bidding farewell to giant pandas entirely.

Panda parents Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, aged 25 and 26, that arrived at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in 2000 and their three-year old cub Xiao Qi Ji are set to return to China in early December as their panda loan agreements expire.

Xiao Qi Ji’s arrival in China will be in keeping with Beijing’s loan agreement that stipulates that panda offspring born outside China must return by the age of four unless the loan time is extended.

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With tears and waves, Japan sends giant panda ‘home’ to China

With tears and waves, Japan sends giant panda ‘home’ to China

The National Zoo has hosted panda couples since Ling Ling and Xing Xing (Hsing Hsing) were sent by then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai to Washington in 1972 after US president Richard Nixon made a state visit to China.

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