China to keep cooperating with US on panda conservation: FM

Beijing, Nov 9 (Agency) China is willing to further strengthen cooperation with the United States and contribute to panda conservation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Thursday. On Wednesday, three giant pandas who had been living in the US for a long time flew back to their homeland, China. “China is willing to further strengthen cooperation with relevant countries, including the US, and make positive contributions to the conservation of endangered species such as pandas,” the diplomat said at a regular briefing. He added that there were currently four giant pandas living in the US’s Zoo Atlanta. “I am sure they will continue to build a bridge of friendship between the peoples of China and the US as ambassadors of friendship,” he said. China and the US have been cooperating in panda research and conservation since 1996.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington and China’s Wildlife and Conservation Society have a three-year agreement to keep the three giant panda bears — Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and Xiao Qi Ji — in the US capital through 2023. The deal is set to expire in December. The giant panda is an unofficial symbol of China. In July 2021, Chinese authorities announced that giant pandas were no longer an endangered species in the country, as their wild population had grown to more than 1,800 individuals over the past decade.