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Date for sending pandas to Taiwan not finalized
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A mainland official on Wednesday said the date for sending two pandas donated by the Chinese mainland to Taiwan has not been finalized, but the two sides were working to ensure they arrive next month.

Fan Liqing, State Council Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman, said both sides were making "positive and considerate" preparations to make sure the bears, Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, meaning "reunion", would arrive in Taiwan in December.

The Taipei Mucha Zoo, which will house the pair, was working on enclosure renovation, she said.

She added that both sides needed to work on the schedule of the chartered flights, as well as other transportation and quarantine issues.

The 4-year-old pandas, from one of China's most endangered species, are at a breeding base at Ya'an in southwestern Sichuan Province.

They were relocated to the base on June 18 from the Wolong Nature Reserve, also in Sichuan, which was seriously damaged in the magnitude-8 earthquake on May 12.

The mainland announced in May 2005 that it would send pandas to Taiwan to demonstrate goodwill, but the animals' departure has been delayed for more than three years by political issues.

Taiwan also promised to send to the Chinese mainland two rare animals.One is an indigenous goat, the other is a spotted deer.

(Xinhua News Agency November 26, 2008)

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