Monday, May 02, 2005

China Offers Taiwan Giant Pandas


China has announced a series of goodwill gestures towards Taiwan, which include the gift of two giant pandas.
Beijing is also preparing to lift a ban on Chinese tourists going to the island and is planning to ease restrictions on imports of fruit from Taiwan.

The measures were announced by Chen Yunlin, the director of the Communist Party's Taiwan Work Office.

They came on the final day of an historic visit to China by the main Taiwanese opposition leader, Lien Chan.

Mr Lien is the first Nationalist leader to make the trip since the party was driven off the Chinese mainland in 1949 by the Communist Party.

He is due to return to Taipei later on Tuesday.

'Cuddly looks'

BBC East Asia regional editor Clare Harkey says during the Cold War China used to make a habit of sending important dignitaries away with pandas, but most exports are now loaned rather than donated.

It is not yet clear whether the governing Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan will accept the pandas.

Taiwan's top China policymaker Joseph Wu says Taipei wouldn't accept the pandas if Beijing was attempting to downgrade the island's sovereign status as part of the gift.

He said the two sides had discussed sending pandas to Taiwan 10 times since 1992, but the island had been unable to provide a suitable environment for the endangered species.

But Mr Chen welcomed the idea.

"We hope the pandas, with their tame nature, air of nobleness and cuddly looks will bring joy and laughter to the Taiwan compatriots, children in particular," he said.

Talk about concrete Ecumenical and diplomatic gestures.


Blogger Ambrose said...

Yeah, until we find out the Pandas are spies......

11:44 PM  
Blogger Ono said...

I always knew that there was something funny about those Pandas sent to DC. When Pandas are uninterested in eating and mating, they have to be up to something else.

11:37 AM  

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