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Panda NationThe Construction and Conservation of China's Modern Icon$
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E. Elena Songster

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199393671

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199393671.001.0001

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Panda Diplomacy

Panda Diplomacy

Animal Ambassadors and the Wild Population

(p.84) 5 Panda Diplomacy
Panda Nation

E. Elena Songster

Oxford University Press

One of the most salient examples of the giant panda as a national symbol, the phenomenon of offering state-gift pandas to other countries, grew out of the end of the Cultural Revolution era. State-gift pandas were among the most successful efforts by China to paint for itself a new international face as it strove for greater international recognition and integration. These high-profile gifts had a profound effect on the wild panda population. The impact of “panda diplomacy” on China’s wild pandas inspired new protection policies during the 1970s.

Keywords:   Panda diplomacy, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Zhou Enlai, State gifts, Red Scare, Japan, Normalization, Wild panda, Wild capture, Captive population

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