Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Pandaplomacy - Robert Zoellick and the Chinese Pandas

Isn't it cute? US-China friendship symbolized by Robert Zoellick hugging a panda cub in Chengdu, Sichuan province (like to picture). Interestingly enough, according to the Washington Post, Zoellick was previously on the advisory council of the World Wildlife Fund -- you know, the organization with the Panda logo. So perhaps Zoellick is using this picture to reveal his peaceful intentions?

I don't want to put too much importance into this photo-op, but let's think about the development of Panda-diplomacy - or Pandaplomacy -- which started with Nixon's trip to China in 1972, and has seen ups and downs, most recently with the recent Chen-PRC spat. If China can continue to convince other countries that true economic (and animal) benefits are more important than the human-rights and judicial problems abound in China, we will probably see many more Panda-ops.

Overall, Zoellick is demonstrating a sincere US effort to negotiate terms of trade with China (despite all the saber-rattling), and this also underlines the fact that China currency/trade deficit issue the Bush administration cannot run away from (as in the Burma, North Korea, and Iran issues). American Business is on the line, and trading is something China is really, really good at…

Washington Post article

1 comment:

pandapassport said...

america should start giving out racoons or something...

I never did understand this panda thing... doesn't the receiving country have to pay a fee or something?