The giant frozen ‘cake’ was actually made from a mix of fruit juice, carrots, sweet potatoes, and sugar cane.
It was enjoyed by giant panda mom Mei Xiang and her youngster Xiao Qi Ji, and it lasted around 15 minutes.
Tian Tian, Xiao Qi Ji’s father, sat out most of the morning celebrations, nibbling bamboo in a nearby enclosure, his chomping clearly heard during a statement by China’s ambassador in Washington, Qin Gang.
Mr. Qin described the bears as “a symbol of the friendship” between the two countries.
Pandas are nearly totally solitary creatures by nature, and Tian Tian would almost certainly never encounter his offspring in the wild. For lunch, he was given a similar cake.
The ceremony celebrated the 1972 accord, which was prompted by Richard Nixon’s historic first visit to communist China as president of the United States.
Mr. Nixon traveled to China and met with Chairman Mao Zedong, which was a significant step in normalizing ties between Washington and Beijing.
During the tour, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai presented two pandas, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, to the American people as a sign of goodwill.
After First Lady Patricia Nixon mentioned she loved visiting the pandas in China, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai gifted to the American people the @NationalZoo’s first pandas. Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing arrived in April 1972 to great fanfare. #GP50 pic.twitter.com/eO9ZpYWu1j
— Lonnie G. Bunch III (@SmithsonianSec) April 16, 2022
The achievement of the global giant panda breeding program, which has helped bring the species back from the verge of extinction, was also emphasized during the National Zoo event.
The pandas “represent how great conservation outcomes can be achieved through great partnerships with our Chinese colleagues”. said Brandie Smith, director of the National Zoo.
“Being able to introduce hundreds of millions of people worldwide to pandas and inspiring them to care about their conservation for five decades, coupled with our scientific breakthroughs, is a milestone truly worth celebrating,” she said.