From 1958 to 1982, China gave away 23 pandas to nine countries to mark the beginning of diplomatic relations. Loans of giant pandas to American and Japanese zoos formed an important part of the diplomacy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the 1970s, as it marked some of the first cultural exchanges between the People’s Republic and the West. This practice has been termed ‘Panda diplomacy’.
Panda, a highly endangered species is a native to central-western and south western China – the Sinchuan Region. It is considered as a symbol of world peace and represents the Yin and Yang concept. In fact, Panda is known to be China’s longest serving ambassador as it was presented as a gift to Japan during the Tang Dynasty around 685 AD.
By 1984, however, pandas were no longer given as gifts. Instead, the PRC began to offer pandas to other nations only on 10-year loans, under terms including a fee of up to US$1,000,000 per year and a provision that any cubs born during the loan are the property of the PRC.
Pandas feed on bamboo shoots. It has a low birth rate and is greatly threatened with extinction whereby as at 2004, only 1,600 are believed to be still living in the wild.
Because of this, Panda is considered as a national treasure of China and was one of the five mascots in Beijing Olympics Games 2008.
Taking the significance of the species for the country, China’s decision to lend two pandas for 10 years to Malaysia in itself, symbolizes the significance of China-Malaysia relations.
Nevertheless, during the era of Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysia-China relation had been strengthened through a “Ping Pong Diplomacy” in 1974. Ever since, both countries have always maintained good social, political and economic relations.
With this already strong relation, the “Panda Diplomacy” must have brought a deeper meaning than just to mark a lasting good relation. It means China’s recognition of Malaysia’s achievement in research and conservation.
In addition to that, by entrusting Malaysia with its national treasure, China is also acknowledging Malaysia’s commitment towards increasing the number of the endangered species.
We believe that China’s friendship, trust and acknowledgment towards Malaysia would lead to more fruitful dealings that would benefit both countries. By gaining the trust of one of the greatest economic power of the world is evidence of a dynamic leadership of our Prime Minister.
Still, it is sad that some Malaysians do not see the significance of Panda Diplomacy, and have to ridicule the government’s call to help name the pandas. While a world’s superpower is showing us their respect, the Malaysians themselves are showing the world of how low their mentalities are.
I bet these same Malaysians are the ones claiming to be loyal, rationale, open-minded citizens though they sounded more like retarded Malaysians.
However, let’s not be bothered by these few retards, but pity them for their poor upbringing.
So, let’s all truly loyal, rationale, open-minded citizens of Malaysia take part in the contest so that we could find the best names for these two treasures of the world, that are now in our care.