China to continue strengthening biodiversity cooperation as two giant pandas set to return home
Published: Dec 01, 2023 09:21 PM
An undated photo provided by Edinburgh Zoo shows giant panda Tian Tian at Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland. Photo:Xinhua

An undated photo provided by Edinburgh Zoo shows giant panda Tian Tian at Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland. Photo:Xinhua

China has made all the necessary preparations to welcome the return of giant pandas Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine) and is willing to continue strengthening cooperation in the field of endangered species and biodiversity conservation with international partners, including the UK, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press conference on Friday. 

 According to the cooperation agreement signed by China and the UK, giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang will return to China after the expiration of the cooperation agreement in December this year. On Wednesday, many British people braved the cold to bid farewell to the pandas.

Wang noted that since the international cooperation on giant panda conservation research between China and the UK began in 2011, both sides have established a good cooperative relationship. 

Positive achievements have been made in scientific research on giant panda conservation management, technological exchanges, and public education which have played an important role in enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese and British people, said Wang. 

China's Giant Panda National Park on Tuesday signed a memorandum with two UK national parks to strengthen cooperation on building and protecting national parks, as well as educating the public, according to It also cited Tim Standbrook, Deputy Consul-General of the British Consulate-General in Chongqing, who attended the signing ceremony, as saying that the signing of the memorandum will mark the beginning of more cooperation.

Standbrook also noted that national giant panda conservation efforts have yielded significant achievements in protecting the increasing population, promoting interconnected ecological systems, and rural revitalization. The current period is a time for exploration on how to further improve China-UK relations, and this collaboration demonstrates the value of cooperation between the two countries in the face of global challenges.

China is engaged in panda conservation cooperation and research with 19 countries, with a total of 63 pandas residing abroad, according to a release from the National Forestry and Grassland Administration in October.  Many pandas residing in foreign countries are widely loved by local people. 

The panda family Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and their 3-year-old son, Xiao Qi Ji arrived at Southwest China's Sichuan Province in early November, after wrapping up their stay in the US. The Smithsonian's National Zoo organized a nine-day event from September 23 to October 1 dedicated to providing their thousands of devoted fans with an opportunity to bid farewell to the giant panda family.

Global Times