Toasting the US-China Relationship, Obama Announces Panda Agreement

By MichaelJames

Jan 19, 2011 9:52pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:

Raising his glass to President Hu and the Chinese delegation at the state dinner capping the day’s events, President Obama gave a warm and fuzzy example of progress made in the U.S.-China relationship: pandas.

“Today, we’ve shown that our governments can work together, as well, for our mutual benefit,” Obama said this evening in the State Dining Room. "And that includes this bit of news: Under a new agreement, our National Zoo will continue to dazzle children and visitors with the beloved giant pandas."

Under the new agreement, pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian will continue to stay in the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., for another five years. Both pandas were on loan from China under an original agreement for a 10-year stay that ended in December.

Speaking more broadly of the relationship, the president said that while sometimes it is easy to focus only on the differences of cultural or perspective, he hopes both countries never will forget their shared values – “a reverence for family; the belief that, with education and hard work and with sacrifice, the future is what we make it; and most of all, the desire to give our children a better life."

With that, the president raised his glass and toasted the people of China and the United States.

“May they grow together in friendship,” Obama said. “May they prosper together in peace.  And may they realize their dream of the future for themselves, for their children and for their grandchildren.”

President Hu, dressed in a navy suit, said that over the last two years China-U.S. relations have made “strong headway” thanks to the efforts of both sides. After a long day, following a private dinner last night, Hu said that it was agreed that the communication and coordination of the two countries should be stepped up to strengthen “strategic trust.”

“We agreed that the two countries should respect each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and the development interests, properly handle differences and frictions, and work together to build a China-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.”

Hu raised his glass to “the health of President and Mrs. Obama; to the health of all friends present here; to the stronger friendship between the people of China and the United States; and to the steady growth of China-U.S. relations.”

-Sunlen Miller

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus