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UPDATED: 17:19, January 17, 2007
Chinese mainland urges Taiwan authorities to accept pandas
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The Chinese mainland on Wednesday urged the Taiwan authorities to allow two pandas to enter Taiwan.

"We hope the Taiwan authorities will change their attitude, follow the wishes of the people and make efforts to facilitate the issue," said spokesman Yang Yi, of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

The mainland offered Taiwan a pair of giant pandas as gift in May 2005, but the Taiwan authorities have so far refused to let the pandas enter Taiwan.

Yang said the pandas currently live at the Wolong China Giant Panda Research Center in Sichuan with special care.

The pandas were named Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan by the Chinese public, which have a combined meaning of "reunion".

Tuan Tuan, at 78 kilograms, and Yuan Yuan, at 80 kilograms, were in good health, Yang said.

Yang said the offer of pandas showed the mainland people's sense of kinship with the Taiwan people. "It is a good thing that will benefit the ties between compatriots across the strait. We will continue to push it forward."

Source: Xinhua

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