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China sending two pandas to Edinburgh
2011-01-10 01:36

China Sending Two Pandas to Edinburgh By Zhang Haizhou and Zhang Chunyan LONDON -- China agreed on Monday to send two pandas to Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland, the first to live in the UK for 17 years.

The deal was signed at Lancaster House in London by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association. It was witnessed by visiting Vice-Premier Li Keqiang and British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Tian Tian and Yangguang, born in 2003, will be under the custodianship of the zoo society.

The project represents the culmination of five years of political and diplomatic negotiation at the highest level and it is anticipated the pandas will arrive in their new home as soon as a date is agreed, the BBC has reported.

David Windmill, chief executive officer of the RZSS, which runs Edinburgh Zoo, said: "This is a landmark day for RZSS, Edinburgh Zoo, the UK and China."

"It represents the beginning of a program of research, education and partnership and the project has huge benefit for the UK and Scotland, both in supporting giant panda conservation and in enhancing our programs in education, science and conservation," Windmill was quoted by the BBC.

Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming said, "this historical agreement is a gift to the people of the UK from China".

Li arrived in Edinburgh on Sunday to begin his four-day UK visit. He is in London on Monday to hold talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

He will address a banquet at the China-Britain Business Council on Tuesday.

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