The incident triggered what is called “panda boom” here in Japan and it’s no exaggeration that the media frantically broadcasted every single day of them.
CPC has utilized the giant panda as a diplomatic method (called “panda diplomacy”) to enhance international relationship.
When the two pandas were accepted by Japan, China was experiencing the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which hideously damaged China’s international reputation.
The two pandas, at least partially, worked out to improve Japanese people’s impression toward China.
Another two pandas arrived at Ueno Zoo on February 21, 2011. What is assumable is that the Communist Party of China has sensed Japanese people's deteriorated impression of China, and the government tried another "Panda Diplomacy" on Japan.
This time the situation is a little different. Japan will pay about 900,000 dollars to China annually, and it's 10 years long contract between Japan and China rather than a gift from China.
In case a panda dies during the ten years contract, Japan must compensate for the loss with some 550,000 dollars. If the couple of giant panda happen to give birth to babies, Japan must hand them over to China.
I wonder if this contract is financially viable.
Nowadays, the giant panda is internationally acknowledged as a Chinese national treasure, and it’s recognized as a symbol of China.
However, there are some noteworthy facts about the giant panda in relation to Tibet.
Do you know where most giant pandas live?
Qinling Mountains in the Southern part of Shaanxi province.
Southern area of Gansu Province.
Min Mountains in the northern area of Sichuan Province.
The giant panda is said to predominantly live in the areas given above.
These areas are regarded as China’s territory or at least CPC claims so. However, when Tibet was still a sovereign country, the areas were just around the boarder between China and Tibet. Some people insist that most giant pandas live in Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture which used to be a part of Tibet until 1955.
|Location of Ngawa|
|Habitat of the giant panda|
As you can see in the map bellow, Tibet was gradually invaded by China finally to be conquered in 1965. What is now called “Tibet Autonomous Region” is just one region of Tibet that fought to the end against China.
|The sequence of the invasion of Tibet|
|Name of the region||Annexation||Population||Tibetan proportion|
|1. Tenzhu Tibetan Autonomous County||1950||220,000||29.87%|
|2. Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture||1953||640,000||51.44%|
|3. Muli Tibetan Autonomous County||1955||130,000||32.39%|
|4. Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture||1955||850,000||53.72%|
|5. Qinghai Province||1955||5,090,000||20.90%|
|6. Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture||1957||880,000||78.37%|
|7. Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture||1957||350,000||33.12%|
|8. Tibet Autonomous Region||1965||2,670,000||93.00%|
The above picture and the data from http://tibet.turigane.com/tibetpanda.html
Taking into account of the historical facts, the acknowledgement of the giant panda solely as a Chinese national treasure is equivalent to the justification of the China’s past and ongoing invasion of Tibet.
I can not and should not deny that the giant panda is a Chinese national treasure, but we must recognize the panda as a Tibetan national treasure at the same time. Otherwise, we will indirectly contribute to the justification of China’s invasion of Tibet.