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Mainland panda pair arrive in Taiwan
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Giant pandas are among the world's most endangered animals. There are about 1,590 pandas living in China's wild, mostly in Sichuan and the northwestern provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu. Through 2007, there were 239 captive bred giant pandas in the country.

The mainland announced in May 2005 it would donate two giant pandas to Taiwan. Their departure has been delayed for more than three years. Improved cross-Straits ties make their journey to Taiwan possible.

Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan "will sow the seeds of peace, solidarity and friendship on Taiwan's soil, with the good wishes of 1.3 billion mainland compatriots," said the mainland's State Council Taiwan Affairs Office Deputy Director, Zheng Lizhong, at a ceremony in Chengdu.

"They would also witness with us the beautiful prospects of the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, the future of the common prosperity and the great revival of the Chinese nation," Zheng said.

The pandas are expected to meet the public in Taiwan during the Spring Festival, the Chinese lunar new year, after a one-month quarantine. The exact date depends on how they adapt to the new environment.

Mainland panda pair arrive in Taiwan

Caretakers are observing Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan at the Taipei zoo.

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