The Kaohsiung City Government yesterday confirmed media reports that China’s Chongqing Municipality is considering giving Kaohsiung two pandas to promote city-to-city exchanges.
China’s state-run Global Times on Saturday quoted Chinese National People’s Congress member Xu Pei (許沛), who is one of the members representing “Taiwan,” as saying on Friday that she would propose giving Kaohsiung the pandas at the second session of the congress, which started on Tuesday last week and runs until Friday.
“Humans need exchanges; so do animals,” Xu, who also doubles as chairwoman of the China Taiwanese Association’s Chongqing branch, was quoted as saying, in an apparent reference to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) planned visit to China, Hong Kong and Macau from Friday next week to March 28.
The visit is to be Han’s first trip to China since his inauguration as Kaohsiung mayor in December last year. During his stay in China, he is slated to visit Shenzhen and Xiamen.
Xu said that the gifting of pandas would create a link between Kaohsiung’s Shoushan Zoo and Chongqing Zoo, expressing the hope that Han would visit Chongqing, the Global Times reported.
Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau Director Pan Heng-hsu (潘恆旭) yesterday said that Chongqing Zoo is planning to send two pandas to Kaohsiung and that the bureau plans to establish a “panda team” and arrange a field trip to the Chinese city in June.
Pan said that Xu shared her plan of facilitating city-to-city interactions between Chongqing and Kaohsiung during her visit to Taiwan last week.
The two pandas are expected to be a seven-year-old female named Rong Rong (融融) and an eight-year-old male called Xiong Xiong (雄雄), Pan said.
Additional reporting by Ko Yu-hao and Lu Yi-hsuan
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