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Taiwan rejects China's offer of panda pair
[April 01, 2006]

Taiwan rejects China's offer of panda pair

(UPI Top Stories Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)Taiwan has turned down a goodwill gift of two giant pandas from mainland China, stirring up considerable criticism at home.

The island's council of agriculture, which announced the decision, said the animals would not get proper care in Taiwan as required by animal protection laws and international agreements, China Daily reported.

Another source called China's offer a propaganda ploy.

But one mainland expert on Taiwan described the decision as an unwise and short-sighted move.

Lee Tao-sheng, deputy director of the forestry bureau, said requests to house the pandas in Taipei City Zoo and the Leofoo Village Theme Park did not show sufficient regard for research and education.

The zoo and the park, however, said they had invested heavily in facilities for the endangered animals and could accommodate them.

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