In the late 1950s, US relations with Communist China were virtually nonexistent. Trade had been tightly controlled since China's intervention in North Korea in 1950, and, to deny Beijing any advantage from commercial or financial transactions, the Secretary of the Treasury issued strict regulations prohibiting the import of goods that originated in or had passed through Communist China. There were rarely any exceptions, even for pandas.
In 1958, one frustrated animal importer tried a different tactic. He took his case to the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), Allen Dulles.
Heini Demmer, an Austrian animal dealer, and Frederik Zeehandelaar, a noted animal importer in New Jersey, wanted Dulles's help in obtaining permission from the Treasury to bring into the US a giant panda.
On January 10, 1958 Dulles received a note with Treasury's decision: Allowing Chi Chi to enter the US would "constitute a serious departure from the basic policies" laid out in the regulations. Moreover, a giant panda would receive a great deal of publicity and that would lead to a need for Treasury to make a public explanation of the reasons for granting an exception. Unless the DCI had other suggestions, the note stated, the matter was closed.
Treasury's resistance was not entirely unwarranted. Since the first live panda had been brought to the US in 1936 (registered aboard a ship as a puppy), the giant panda had captured the popular imagination—and become a potent political symbol.
Madame Chiang Kai-shek, wife of the leader of the Republic of China, had dispatched a pair of the bears to the Bronx Zoo in 1941; arriving just after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, they became a symbol of a crucial wartime alliance.
During the decades after the Communist Chinese took control in 1949, as one historian of panda diplomat notes, they would "benefit from the careful deployment of captive pandas for explicitly political purposes
The media manifested little patience with the political symbolism of pandas and seemed to have been unaware of Dulles's behind-the-scenes representations on Chi Chi's behalf. They were aware of the rejection, however, and their commentary was harsh.
"The clown of the animal world has been refused entry because it is a resident of Communist China. -----New York Times,May 7,1958
"尽管美国主要动物园请求宽大处理，但是美国国务院依然认为如果让熊猫—— 动物爱好者和玩具厂家的最爱——进入美国， 这样做将违反禁止与共产主义中国贸易的法律"。
"The state department, despite pleas from leading zoos for clemency, argues that to admit the young panda – darling of animal lovers and toymakers – would violate the law forbidding trade with Communist China."
According to the Washington Post, "The majesty of the United States has been employed to exclude a giant panda from this country...The zoos which have been bidding for him must be content merely to describe to their visitors what a panda is—or to pretend, in the fashion of the State Department attitude toward the Communist government in Peking, that he simply doesn't exist. Perhaps this sort of panda-ing to rigidity is what is needed to demonstrate the inanity of a policy based on fiction."
"Spurned by Washington, Chi Chi made a triumphal tour of Europe, visiting Frankfurt, Copenhagen, and Berlin before finally winding up at the London Zoo. With the brief exception of a failed conjugal visit to Moscow, she lived there until July 1972.
就在她刚刚死的几个月前，两只熊猫 — — 玲玲和兴兴 — — 抵达华盛顿，就在总统理查德 · 尼克松访问北京那一年，这是中国送给美国的礼物。他们在美国杜勒斯机场下飞机，讽刺的是机场名字正是以约翰 · 福斯特 · 杜勒斯命名，就是那个仇恨"红色中国"从而阻止奇奇来美国的人。
Just a few months before her death, two pandas—Hsing Hsing and Ling Ling—arrived in Washington, a gift from China after President Richard Nixon's visit to Beijing that year. Ironically, they entered the US through Dulles Airport, named after the same John Foster Dulles whose hatred of "Red China" had helped block Chi Chi's arrival.