Minister Xu Xueyuan Attends Giant Panda Housewarming Ceremony in the Smithsonian's National Zoo
2019/02/28

On February 23, 2019, the Chinese Embassy in the United States and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo jointly hosted a housewarming ceremony, to celebrate the new exhibit for visitors inside the Zoo’s giant panda house. The event was attended by Minister Xu Xueyuan of the Chinese Embassy; Steven Monfort, John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute; David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of the Carlyle Group; and Margaret Richardson, Director of Global Policy of Airbnb, sponsor of this event. They cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially welcome thousands of guests to the new exhibit.

 

Photo: Shen Ting

In her speech, Minister Xu Xueyuan said that giant pandas are China's national treasures. Although they are large in size, they are charming, tolerant, and peace-loving, representing many values of China itself, and are loved by people all over the world. Giant pandas are also symbolic of the China-US friendship. China sent its first pair of giant pandas to the United States in 1972, when the two countries broke the ice of the Cold War and resumed regular exchanges. Since then, thanks to the cooperation between Chinese and American animal scientists and support from the people, dozens of giant pandas have been living and multiplying in the United States. This is a great boost to the development of China's rare animal conservation, and the pandas have become the most popular envoys of friendship, bringing laughter and joy to millions of American. In fact, the pandas are not only beneficiaries of the China-US relationship, but also the best symbols of the win-win exchanges and cooperation between the two sides.

 

Photo: Smithsonian's National Zoo

Minister Xu said, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. We believe that cooperation is the best choice for developing the China-US relationship, which we must cherish and protect, just as we jointly do for the giant pandas. We need to work together to maintain and expand the common interests of the two sides in the years to come, and promote relations based on coordination, cooperation, and stability to better benefit our two peoples, as well as the world at large.

In her remarks, Margaret Richardson looked back to 1972 when China sent a pair of giant pandas to the United States. She said,"for almost fifty years, the pandas have been bridging the divide between East and West, rising above politics, inspiring what many people have come to know as Panda Diplomacy between the United States and China." "Airbnb...like the pandas, has a critical role to play in creating a unique experience that leads to closer people-to-people ties between our two countries."

 

Photo: Shen Ting

Director Montfort and Chairman Rubinstein said in their speeches that it is the obligation of human beings to do a good job in the protection of animals and the natural environment. Director Montfort said, " Success could be achieved by creating and sharing knowledge of great partnership. The important work that takes place here in National Zoo and also in China has helped to do downgrade the giant panda from endangered status to only vulnerable." It is hoped that more giant panda fans will be actively involved in the protection of endangered animals and the natural environment.

The housewarming ceremony attracted thousands of visitors. They were treated with delicious dumplings prepared by the Embassy and were given "abstract painting" jointly painted by giant panda Meixiang, Tiantian and Beibei and other gifts.

Meixiang, Tiantian and Beibei also received noodle-bowl-shaped frozen treats specially made by the Zoo’s department of nutrition.

 

Photo: Smithsonian's National Zoo

 

Photo: Shen Ting

Suggest to a Friend: