The giant panda is loved worldwide for its unique image and meek
temperament. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) used the image of the
giant panda as its logo from its founding in 1961. In 1989, the
former Chinese Ministry of Forestry (the present Chinese Forestry
Administration) and the renamed World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
formulated the long-term Giant Panda Management Plan.
People all over the world hope that giant pandas can continue to
co-exist with humans. To better preserve the common treasure of the
world by the efforts of scientists around the world, the China
Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) and China Zoological
Association reached an agreement with the Agency of International
Wildlife Conservation to loan giant pandas in pairs to overseas
countries for 10 years for cooperative research with Chinese staff
of science in the 1990's. At the same time, the CWCA was appointed
as the agency to conduct cooperation with foreign equivalent units
for the scientific research. Most scientific research cooperation
projects have been taken in hand by the CWCA.
Among all the pairs of giant pandas sent overseas since the 1990s,
a pair in the San Diego Zoo produced a baby on August 21, 1999. Mr.
Li Zhaoxing, former Chinese Ambassador in United States, named it
as "Hua Mei" meaning China-America. It played a critical role in
improving relations between China and United States. In December
2000, the giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian arrived at the
Washington National Zoo. Mei Xiang, two and a half years old, a
female whose name means "beautiful fragrance," and Tian Tian, three
and a half years old, a male whose name means "more and more," were
taken to the zoo on a Federal Express flight dubbed "Panda One."
Mei Xiang and Tian Tian were born at the Research and Conservation
Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong, in south China's Sichuan
Province. Under a deal meant to foster conservation, the center
will loan the pandas to the zoo for 10 years for US$10 million.