Changing China

Giant on the move

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Panda Diplomacy: China’s goodwill pandas ready for Australia mission


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A tough time for trade and diplomatic ties between China and Australia, but the loan of this cuddly couple may repair the rift.
Wang Wang and Fu Ni, from China’s southwest Sichuan province, will be sent to the Adelaide zoo by yearend in a 10-year loan for research purposes.
Relations have been tense between China and Australia¬†after Chinese state-owned metals firm Chinalco failed in a $19.5 billion bid for a stake in Rio Tinto, and separately four Rio employees were arrested on suspicion of corporate espionage. A decision by Australia’s government in July to grant a visa for exiled Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer further soured ties. But panda diplomacy may be answer.

Video Credit: Guan Yongning

Never work with animals or children…



Comedian W.C. Fields is reputed to have said, “Never work with animals or children.” There’s no question that cuteness done right can upstage anyone or anything.

For my money, this picture taken by Reuters photographer Alessandro Bianchi of a panda in the Beijing zoo happily munching away upstages most of the pictures of smog, arriving dignitaries and assorted preparations we’re getting as we wait for the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday.

Olympic panda-monium reigns at Beijing Zoo


Pandas at the zoo

Forget Olympic fever. Nothing beats panda-monium.

The “Olympic pandas” at Beijing Zoo really do drive the crowds wild — even Germany’s beloved polar bear star Knut would be hard pressed to match the panda adoration sweeping the nation.

When the eight pandas in the Olympic Pavilion strut their stuff at feeding time, mothers rush to get a picture of their child with China’s national symbol in the background.