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China expresses sympathy for baby panda's death at Tokyo zoo

(People's Daily Online)

08:17, July 12, 2012

Liu Weimin, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman held a news briefing on July 12, 2012. (File photo/ Foreign Ministry of China)

BEIJING, July 11 (People's Daily Online) -- A Foreign Ministry spokesman on Wednesday expressed deep sympathy for the death of a newborn giant panda in Tokyo's Ueno Zoo.

Spokesman Liu Weimin said at a daily news briefing that he believes many Japanese people who were looking forward to seeing the baby giant panda have also been saddened at the news of its death.

Officials with the Ueno Zoo said Wednesday that a giant panda born in the zoo last Thursday died of pneumonia on Wednesday morning.

The male panda's birth marked the first panda birth at the zoo in about 24 years and was widely celebrated last week.

The mother Shin Shin and her mate Ri Ri were brought to Tokyo last February. They became the zoo's first pandas since the 2008 death of Ling Ling.

Named "Xian Nv" and "Bi Li" in Chinese before receiving their Japanese names, the pair from southwest China's Sichuan Province are in Tokyo for a 10-year stay under a joint research agreement on the endangered species.


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