They are cute, cuddly and one of China’s most instantly recognisable symbols. Pandas are also the face of global wildlife conservation. But these lovable bears are more than just the stars of viral videos and zoo attractions, they’re diplomatic tools used by China as bargaining chips and rewards for lucrative trade deals.
Today, zoos around the world ‘rent’ pandas from China – and they come with a million dollar price tag. 101 East asks, what is the true cost of a panda?