Chinese president Xi Jinping is on a three-day state visit to Russia. The occasion is to celebrate seven decades of diplomatic ties between the two countries. They could probably take this opportunity to discuss subjects of mutual interest like the mounting political tensions with the U.S. and denuclearization of North Korea.

China had loaned a pair of giant pandas to Russia and President Vladimir Putin thanked the visiting president for the same. The animals, unique to China, had arrived some time back and are now on public display in Moscow Zoo.

The two leaders went to the zoo to see them and introduce them to the public. It was a new experience for the Chinese and Russian leaders and others who attended the inauguration of the panda pavilion.

Daily Mail UK reports about the cute animals that arrived end April. One of them is a two-year-old male, the other a one-year-old female. They love to gorge on bamboo, which is imported. When the leaders visited the zoo, they were in a relaxed mood in the adjacent playground. Both were born at a research center for the giant panda in China.

China’s panda diplomacy

The pair of giant pandas are in Russia as a part of research related to the conservation of Endangered Species. They are under a long-term collaborative program between Beijing and Moscow, which will be for a period of 15 years. The pair arrived by air on April 29 with more than adequate quantities of bamboo and other treats.

The zoo already had a pavilion for pandas that underwent renovation work to accommodate the newcomers. Full-time keepers and veterinarians of Moscow Zoo had been to China to learn about how to take care of these animals, especially their breeding and medical care. China will continue to send across the special bamboo regularly.

Daily Mail UK goes on to add that pandas from China are not new in Russia.

During the Soviet Union era, it received two male pandas on loan, one each in 1957 and in 1959. Both lived in Moscow Zoo. Incidentally, the zoo will have to shell out nearly US$1 million every year as “rent.” Earlier, Denmark had received them as diplomatic gifts from China.

It will be a joint effort

According to Xinhuanet, on February 28, China and Russia signed an agreement on the protection and research cooperation of giant pandas. Subsequently, the pair of animals left for Russia from Chengdu on April 29.

Prior to that, Chinese researchers held a send-off ceremony for the pair of animals named Ru Yi and Ding Ding. The former is a male weighing 90 kg, the latter a female weighs 55 kg. They will be in Moscow as a part of 15-year collaborative research. Staff at the center prepared different types of food they like. These included buns, bamboo sprouts, carrots etcetera. A caretaker and a veterinarian accompanied the animals to ensure that the pair settle in their new homes with ease.

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