A panda cub born in Taiwan over the weekend has spurred quite a following in the media and is being hailed as an apparent breakthrough in the decades-old bitter rivalry with China.
The female cub was born to two giant pandas, Tuan Tun and Yuan Yuan, that were given by China to Taiwan in December 2008 as a symbol of warming cross-strait ties.
The cub, which measures 16 centimeters long and weighs 183 grams, was delivered following a series of artificial inseminations after her parents failed to conceive naturally.
China sent 23 giant pandas to nine countries as gifts as part of “panda diplomacy” between 1953 and 1982. As concerns rose over dwindling panda populations, China stopped giving them as presents, instead sending them overseas through 10-year, $1 million loan agreements, according to the Wall Street Journal. Any offspring must be sent back to China.
But Taiwan is the exception, as unlike every other panda born outside China, the cub will stay at Taipei zoo where it was born.
Taipei is planning to introduce the baby panda to the public but visitors at the zoo may have to wait three to five months, Chao Ming-chieh, a spokesman at the zoo told AFP.