updated 7/28/2010 3:57:47 PM ET 2010-07-28T19:57:47

China has announced plans to send two of its prized giant pandas to Japan, the latest installment of panda diplomacy aimed at warming the two countries' often-strained relations.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday that China will send Bi Li and Xian Nu, both five-year-olds from China's Wolong Nature Reserve, to Japan early next year for a 10-year stay at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo.

The giant panda is unique to China and is regularly sent abroad as a sign of warm diplomatic relations or to mark breakthroughs in ties. For more than five decades, Beijing has used panda diplomacy to make friends and influence people in countries ranging from the United States to the former Soviet Union.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments