LOS ANGELES, May 13 (Xinhua) -- An art exhibition entitled "Panda and Its Friends" opened in Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of China-U.S. diplomatic ties.
"In 1972, First Lady Pat Nixon welcomed the first Giant Pandas to the United States. 'Panda diplomacy' between the United States and China is a lasting element of her legacy of goodwill and since 1972, millions of Americans have enjoyed coming face-to-face with these lovable creatures at zoos across the United States," Nixon Foundation President Bill Baribault told Xinhua Monday.
Baribault welcomed more culture exchange events between the two countries to be held in the library, which is located in city of Yorba Linda, hometown of the 37th president of the United States, 60 kilometers east of Los Angeles downtown.
"The Nixon Library is Southern California's center for robust programming and exhibitions on U.S.-China relations, a direct result of President and Mrs. Nixon's historic visit to China 47 years ago," he said.
The art exhibition assembles 46 pieces of new style ink paintings of Chinese artist Zhong Liu, who is famous for integrating the western color skill and style into the traditional Chinese painting.
"Dated back to 1972, President Nixon and his wife visited China with their sincerity, while our premier Zhou Enlai also sent them a pair of our pandas to the American people on behalf of the Chinese people," Liu said at the opening ceremony on Sunday. "The true hearts of both sides led us to today's 40 anniversary of the diplomatic relationship."
Liu donated one of his artwork entitled "The Whole Family of Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing" to the Library. Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing were the two giant pandas given to the United States as gifts by the government of China following Nixon's visit in 1972.
The two pandas, served as an important symbol of friendship between the two countries, resided at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and attracted millions of visitors each year before they passed away in 1992 and 1999.