Cui Tiankai: Giant Panda Is Goodwill Ambassador
for China-U.S. Friendship and Cooperation



As the Spring Festival is drawing near and Kung Fu Panda 3 becomes a great hit in both China and the United States, the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. held a "Panda Night" reception on February 3, 2016. The Smithsonian's National Zoo, DreamWorks Pictures, Shanghai Media Group, and Capital Foundation co-sponsored the event. Ambassador Cui Tiankai delivered welcoming remarks at the reception. Dr. Bill McShea, a wildlife scientist with the Smithsonian's National Zoo, shared stories of conserving and breeding pandas with guests. Producer Melissa Cobb and Director Jenifer Yuh Nelson of the movie Kung Fu Panda 3 gave a presentation on how the animation was created and produced. More than 200 guests from various sectors, including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Lieutenant Governor of Maryland Boyd Rutherford and Secretary of State of Maryland John Wobensmith, joined the event.


In his remarks, Ambassador Cui shared with the audience the encouraging reward of China's decades-long panda conservation efforts. Statistics shows that the population of wild giant pandas in China has risen 17 percent in the past decade.There are now 1,864 wild giant pandas living in China. Over the past decades, China and the U.S. have been making joint efforts in panda conservation. Several generations of giant pandas have lived in the Smithsonian's National Zoo, where 3 panda cubs were born. It demonstrates the fruitful cooperation between the two countries.


Ambassador Cui also gave a brief review on the history of "Panda Ambassador". In April of 1972, just two months after President Nixon's ice-breaking visit to china, two giant pandas, Ling Ling and Xing Xing, arrived in Washington D.C. and found their home at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. In the past 44 years, pandas in the U.S. have been popular and loved by the American people. They have bridged Chinese and American people as they transcend cultural differences. During President Xi Jinping's state visit to the U.S. last September, China's First Lady Peng Liyuan and U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama gave the name "Bei Bei" to the newly-born panda cub at the National Zoo. Early last month, Ambassador Cui visited Bei Bei before its public debut and was glad to see a healthy, strong and energetic Bei Bei.


Cui gave thanks to the DreamWorks Pictures for its artistic imagination and creation, which has made panda Kung Fu master on the screen. According to Chinese tradition, Kung Fu is not an art of fighting, but an art to stop fighting. Real Kung Fu masters shoulder responsibilities to maintain peace and justice in communities, and do public good. In this case, the movie has revealed the essence of Kung Fu. It has also inspired us in our way to handle pressing challenges of today's world.



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