Panda Peace Offering

Two giant pandas made their long-anticipated and highly scrutinised trip from China to Taiwan today, sealing a year of blossoming diplomatic ties between the two chinese cities.

Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, whose names together mean ‘reunion’, left their enclosures at the Ya’an breeding base in south-west China’s Sichuan province before dawn, beginning the day-long journey to their new home at the Taipei zoo.

Giant pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan play in a breeding base in Yaan, south-west Chinas Sichuan Province in February 2006

Giant pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan play in a breeding base in Ya'an, south-west China's Sichuan Province in February 2006

Taiwanese breeder You Xueyin feeds giant pandas at a the base in Yaan

Taiwanese breeder You Xueyin feeds giant pandas at a the base in Ya'an

A People Libertys Army (PLA) soldier guards the two giant pandas at the Bifeng Gorge Base of the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda in Yaan

A People Liberty's Army (PLA) soldier guards the two giant pandas at the Bifeng Gorge Base of the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda in Ya'an

Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan are seen at the Bifeng Gorge Base before their send-off

Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan are seen at the Bifeng Gorge Base before their send-off

Taiwan press photographers take pictures of Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan at the Bifeng Gorge Base

Taiwan press photographers take pictures of Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan at the Bifeng Gorge Base

Workers transport giant panda Tuan Tuan in a cage

Workers transport giant panda Tuan Tuan in a cage

Workers at the panda base in Yaan wave at the pandas inside the truck as they are escorted by Chinese paramilitary police officers to their send-off

Workers at the panda base in Ya'an wave at the pandas inside the truck as they are escorted by Chinese paramilitary police officers to their send-off

Chinese students and workers hold placards baring the names Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan during the send-off ceremony

Chinese students and workers hold placards baring the names 'Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan' during the send-off ceremony

Girls dressed as panda bears get ready to perform during the ceremony marking the delivery of two panda bears from China to Taiwan

Girls dressed as panda bears get ready to perform during the ceremony marking the delivery of two panda bears from China to Taiwan

Chinese officers wave as they bid farewell to the giant pandas after being loaded inside a aircraft in Chengdu Suhangliu International Airport

Chinese officers wave as they bid farewell to the giant pandas after being loaded inside a aircraft in Chengdu Suhangliu International Airport

Security personnel escort the cages containing two Panda bears at the airport

Security personnel escort the cages containing two Panda bears at the airport

Balloons decorate the sky during a ceremony in Yaan marking the delivery of two panda bears

Balloons decorate the sky during a ceremony in Ya'an marking the delivery of two panda bears

Ethic Qiang performers cheer after the farewell ceremony held for giant pandas

Ethic Qiang performers cheer after the farewell ceremony held for giant pandas

A forklift unloads a carton containing a giant panda from a charter jet upon its arrival at Taoyuan airport, northern Taiwan

A forklift unloads a carton containing a giant panda from a charter jet upon its arrival at Taoyuan airport, northern Taiwan






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