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China could lend more pandas to United States

An animal keeper holds a panda cub at the National Zoo in Washington. Associated Press/Photo by Andrew Harnik

China could lend more pandas to United States

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday said his government is “ready to continue” cooperation with the United States on its panda conservation project. His comments came one week after the last three panda bears loaned to the National Zoo in Washington returned to China. Xi did not say when or where the bears would be provided, but he suggested they could be loaned to a zoo in California. President Joe Biden met with Xi in San Francisco on Wednesday during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, known as APEC.

What is the panda lending program? China loans panda bears to more than a dozen countries worldwide, usually in pairs. Pandas return to China when they reach old age, and any cubs born during their loan are sent to China when they reach three or four years old. The exchange agreement between Beijing and Washington began in 1972 as a symbol of friendship between the countries. The only giant pandas left in the United States are at the Atlanta Zoo.

Dig deeper: Listen to Mary Reichard’s report on The World and Everything in It podcast about Biden’s foreign policy regarding China.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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