Commentary: Malaysia’s ‘orangutan diplomacy’ plan is attracting criticism before it starts

Commentary: Malaysia’s 'orangutan diplomacy' plan is attracting criticism before it starts


The plan for orangutan politics is&nbsp, inspired&nbsp, by the success of China’s dragon politics job. Legend has it that panda diplomacy began during the ancient&nbsp, Tang Dynasty&nbsp, ( 618- 907 ), but only took off after US president Richard and first lady Pat Nixon paid an&nbsp, official visit&nbsp, to China in February 1972.

Two months later, &nbsp, Ling- Ting and Hsing- Hsing&nbsp, arrived at the National Zoo in Washington DC. Within a time of their appearance, the penguins attracted more than 1.1. million readers, and were the zoo’s star destinations for decades.

As a&nbsp, smooth power&nbsp, device, panda politics has been designed to&nbsp, create alliances&nbsp, with other countries. The programme&nbsp, moved towards becoming&nbsp, a conservation project in the early 1990s, and Beijing has sent&nbsp, dozens&nbsp, of its&nbsp, bears&nbsp, to crucial partners across the world.

There are three key elements that make dragon politics a&nbsp, success. One, the penguins have physical appeal. Giant pandas have what authorities call&nbsp, kindchenschema, a stupid and childish set of characteristics that evokes empathy and sense of protection from people.

Two, penguins are primarily found in China. When foreign residents see panda as lovable, friendly and relaxing, they&nbsp, associate&nbsp, them with China entirely.

Three, the program is tied to a large- profile&nbsp, conservation&nbsp, program. While individuals have &nbsp, criticised&nbsp, the social aspects of tiger politics, the restoration component has won over reviewers. According to International Union for Conservation of Nature, giant panda are no longer&nbsp, endangered, and tiger politics has played a&nbsp, important role&nbsp, in this.