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‘Ya Ya’ The Panda Landed Safely In Shanghai After 20 Years Abroad

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Ya Ya

(CTN News) – Ya Ya the panda came to the United States 20 years ago as a cute sign of China’s friendliness with the country. However, she was the target of online nationalism when she returned home on Thursday.

Ya Ya’s Symbolic Role In World Affairs

Chinese social media users and some animal welfare activists who have been outspoken in their concerns about Ya Ya’s care and condition at the Memphis Zoo in Tennessee as well as her symbolic position in international affairs welcomed news of her landing in Shanghai.

Although the zoo has denied mistreating the 190-pound panda, her trip back to China was the result of a protracted online campaign that reflected the escalating hostilities between Washington and Beijing.

Online users closely followed Ya Ya’s journey, posting screenshots of the animal’s flight path into Shanghai.

A 22-year-old English student from Guangdong named Vanessa Mai told NBC News that she had joined a campaign to save Ya Ya and that the panda was “getting a lot of exposure now and she will definitely be better off in China.”

Her condition has been questioned, and some animal welfare organizations have claimed that she is underweight and has mangy fur.

Ya Ya’s Mate, Le Le Passed Away In February

Additionally, they have claimed that the zoo is to blame for Ya Ya’s mate Le Le’s passing in February; both of these claims have been refuted by the zoo and Chinese authorities.

Chinese social media users also liked a photograph from the Chinese news outlet Phoenix News. It depicts the bear doing potty prior to the journey and leaving muck as what appears to be present for the caretakers.

For many years, China used the recognisable black-and-white animals as part of their “panda diplomacy.” However, recipient states must pay for Beijing’s four-legged soft power manoeuvre.

According to Stanley Rosen, a professor of political science and international affairs at the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California, “they rent pandas for $1 million a year, typically on 10-year contracts.”

“An additional $400,000 is given to China if a cub is born, and all of that money goes towards conservation efforts.”

Ya Ya’s upkeep cost the zoo time and money, and despite assurances from Chinese authorities that she was in fact receiving sufficient care.

Some Chinese social media users and animal rights organizations around the world continued to express worry for her wellbeing.

#Yaya Became A Hot Between Users On Weibo

On the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, where more than 400 million users have commented to the #Yaya issue, one user remarked, “Refuse the meaningless panda diplomacy.”

Another person said, “Don’t let them be uprooted from their homeland again.”

Chinese-American relations have reached a low point due to tensions over Taiwan, the U.S. shooting down a Chinese spy balloon, and Beijing’s increasing assertiveness internationally.

Even the hawkish state-run Global Times tabloid, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, has weighed in, linking the panda to the situation.

“This matter would not have caused such a stir if it had not occurred at a time when Washington is stepping up its containment and suppression of China,” it stated in an editorial.

“Anything with a ‘China’ tag could be seen as a ‘threat’ by the United States, whether it be a corn-milling plant, a crane, or an unidentified flying object.”

Ya Ya, a 22-year-old Chinese citizen, was sent to Tennessee on loan in 2003, a time when China and the United States had considerably closer ties.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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