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HK to Receive Giant Panda Couple from Sichuan
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Giant panda cubs play on a tree at the research and conservation center in the Wolong Nature Reserve.

Hong Kong will receive a couple of giant pandas from the research and conservation center in the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province to mark the 10th anniversary of its return.

People's Daily reports the State Forestry Administration has formed a group to select which two giant pandas China will give to the special administrative region.

Fifteen giant pandas have passed the preliminary selection process and experts will work to find the best couple to send to Hong Kong in the first half of 2007.

Chief Secretary for the Administration of the Hong Kong government, Hui Si-yan, said the names for the two pandas will be selected from a public poll.

The central government sent two pandas, An An and Jia Jia, to Hong Kong in 1997 when it returned to the People's Republic of China. A new pair will be sent for the 10th anniversary because health problems have prevented the original couple from having offspring.

(CRI March 10, 2007)

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