China premier promises more pandas as he begins Australia visit

Li Qiang visits Adelaide Zoo, which hosts China-born pandas Wang Wang and Fu Ni

14:15 - 16/06/2024 Sunday
File photo
File photo

Chinese Premier Li Qiang said on Sunday that Beijing will provide a new pair of giant pandas to Australia to continue with cooperative research on the conservation of the globally loved animal, state media reported.

Li, who arrived in Australia on a four-day official visit on Saturday, made the remarks while visiting Adelaide Zoo.

The zoo in Southern Australia has been home to Wang Wang and Fu Ni since 2009 when they were loaned by China as part of "panda diplomacy." They will return to China later this year.

"Despite being far away from their homeland, Wang Wang and Fu Ni are well taken care of and living happily in Adelaide Zoo. They have become messengers of friendship between China and Australia, symbolizing the deep friendship between the two countries," Li said.

Li's visit is the first by a Chinese prime minister in seven years. He is expected to discuss some of the remaining trade embargo issues, as well as the region's security with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Canberra on Monday.

China initiated a reset of the bilateral relationship after Albanese's election in 2022. Ties suffered during the previous administration over the call for an independent investigation into the causes of the COVID-19 pandemic, among other measures.

#Li Qiang
#panda diplomacy
1 month ago