Pandas bear hopes for China, Taiwan
Amber Wang, Taipei
December 23, 2008
TWO giant pandas are about to make their long-anticipated and highly scrutinised trip from China to Taiwan, sealing a year of blossoming diplomatic ties between the two arch rivals.
The move of the four-year-old pair, whose names together symbolise unity, comes amid hopes that the goodwill gesture will be matched by an increased willingness to work towards warmer cross-strait relations.
A delegation of Taiwanese officials, animal experts and journalists flew to the pandas' home in south-west China's Sichuan province yesterday and were due to return to Taiwan with them today.
The pandas, named "Tuan Tuan" and "Yuan Yuan," are at a research centre in Ya'an. "Tuanyuan" — a combination of the pandas' names — means "reunion" or "unity" in Chinese...
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