World / Asia-Pacific

Pandas 'envoys of friendship'

By Zhang Yunbi Updated: 2012-07-05 21:00

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin on Thursday endorsed the birth of a baby panda and called pandas "envoys of friendship".

Giant panda Zhen Zhen gave birth to a baby at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo on July 5, the first baby panda born there in 24 years, Kyodo News Agency reported.

"Pandas are envoys of friendship, and we hope pandas can have a positive effect on China-Japan civil relations as well as overall bilateral ties," Liu said in response to the possible enhancement brought by the birth on bilateral national feelings.

Zhen Zhen and her mate Li Li were loaned by China in February last year, and they mated in late March, Kyodo said.

It is the fourth baby panda born at the oldest zoo in Japan and the first to be born there through natural breeding, and the mother and baby are both in good condition, zoo officials said.

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