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Chinese official visits pandas, dove tree in Taiwan

2012/04/27 15:14:24

Taipei, April 27 (CNA) Zheng Lizhong, vice president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, has made use of his current stay in Taiwan to visit a pair of pandas and a dove tree given by the mainland in 2008.

The main purpose of Zheng's latest Taiwan trip is to attend the third regular meeting of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee held Thursday in Danshui, New Taipei City.

After the meeting, Zheng went to the Taipei Zoo that afternoon to see pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) said in a statement.

According to Chin Shih-chien, director of the zoo, Zheng was eager to know if "Yuan Yuan (the female panda) has gotten pregnant yet" and was excited to see panda merchandise at the gift shop.

He later took a ride on the Maokong Gondola cable car system to the scenic Maokong Moutain near the zoo.

On Friday, Zheng went to the Fushan Botanical Garden in the southern city of Kaohsiung to see the dove tree, which is native to central and southwest China, the SEF said.

The pandas and tree were given to Taiwan as part of a cross-strait animal exchange program. As reciprocal gifts, Taiwan offered China the Formosan sika deer and the Formosan serow.

(By Chen Hung-chin and Y.F. Low)