Here’s a stance that’s hardly politically controversial: Pandas are incredibly cute. So it’s little wonder that China has a long tradition of deploying the adorable fuzzy bears as a form of diplomacy, creating buzzy photo shoots with the usually perplexed animals. From the Obama family to Taiwanese leaders, here’s a peek at some leaders who played politics by getting in a little panda loving.
US First lady Michelle Obama
US First lady Michelle Obama (L) and her mother Marian Robinson (R) use a pole to feed apples to giant pandas during their visit to Giant Panda Research Base in Chengdu, Sichuan province on March 26, 2014. (Petar Kujundzic/AFP/Getty Images)