China's giant pandas may return to the U.S. but to the wrong coast
Great news! More giant pandas might be coming to the U.S. Only *record scratch* it sounds like they wouldn't be headed to D.C., but rather … California.
Driving the news: During a dinner speech on Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping seemed to suggest China would send new bears to San Diego, reports the AP.
- "We are ready to continue our cooperation with the United States on panda conservation, and do our best to meet the wishes of the Californians so as to deepen the friendly ties between our two peoples," said Xi.
The intrigue: While new pandas in California would be a positive sign amid a period of strained U.S.-China relations, it would be a blow for D.C.'s many diehard panda stans hoping for another era of black-and-white fuzzy cuteness.
Zoom in: The San Diego Zoo hasn't had a giant panda since 2019, when Bai Yun and her son Xiao Liwu returned to China.
- San Diego still has its panda habitat, repurposed to house red pandas, our Axios colleagues in San Diego tell us.
Yes, but: Allow us to publicly make our case for the pandas to come to D.C.
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