Mayor Hau to meet with Chen Yunlin over pandas


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin said yesterday he will meet with China’s top negotiator on Taiwan to discuss the issue of pandas during the latter’s upcoming visit to the island next week.

Hau said he will meet with Chen Yunlin, president of Beijing’s quasi-official Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), for a brief discussion during Chen’s visit from Nov. 3-7.

“We’ll meet mainly for talks on the two giant pandas that China has promised as gifts to Taiwan — known as ‘Tuan Tuan’ and ‘Yuan Yuan,’” Hau noted.

Taipei city and several other cities in Taiwan have competed to host the two giant pandas, which China wants to loan to Taiwan. Hau and Taipei city government officials even paid a visit to Shanghai in June to forge a pact on exchanges related to rare animal conservation, including swapping animals as gifts and sharing know-how in animal raising and reproduction.