Giant pandas free gifts for Taiwan: official
Updated: 2006-02-27 12:53
The giant panda couple Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan are free gifts for Taiwan
compatriots, a mainland official reiterated in Beijing Monday.
Zhibang, director of the State Forestry Administration (SFA), at a press
conference denied Taiwan media reports saying that any Taiwan organization,
which hopes to accept and raise the giant panda couple, needs to pay the
mainland 35 million yuan (about 4.3 million U.S. dollars) annually, and
described the reports as groundless.
Giant pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan play in the Wolong Giant
Panda Breeding Center in Southwest China's Sichuan Province in this February
21, 2006 photo. [Xinhua]
Jia said, "We have made it clear that the giant panda couple, to be presented
to the Taiwan compatriots, is a goodwill gift from the mainland compatriots,
it's free and unconditional."
"We are also glad to offer free assistance in building living places for the
panda couple and provide technical support for raising the panda couple," Jia
To help Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan to reproduce offspring in Taiwan, the
mainland is also ready to facilitate exchanges of germplasm for giant pandas,
Giant pandas are national treasure and are deeply loved by compatriots from
both sides of the Taiwan Straits, said Zhuo Rongsheng, head of the Wildlife
Department of the SFA.
Presenting a pair of giant pandas to Taiwan compatriots reflected the
profound friendship the mainland compatriots have shown to Taiwan compatriots,
We hope that Taiwan authorities concerned would fully consider the earnest
hope of Taiwan compatriots and take a cooperative attitude on the issue of the
giant panda couple, so that the panda couple could go to Taiwan soon, Zhuo said.