What Is the National Animal of China?

What Is the National Animal of China?

What Is the National Animal of China?

The national animal of China is the giant panda. Entirely unknown in the west until 1869, giant pandas were a part of some of the first cultural exchanges between the U.S. and the People's Republic of China: so much so, that such exchanges were sometimes called "panda diplomacy."

Shy and reclusive by nature, the wild panda has always been a rare sight. The Chinese regarded it as a magical animal that would only appear during the reign of a benevolent and sincere monarch. While sharing its name with the red panda, which is more closely related to raccoons and weasels, the giant panda is a true bear. Its closest extant relative is the spectacled bear of South America.