A pair of big pandas arrived in Qatar on Wednesday as a present forward of the World Cup, marking the primary time China has prolonged its “panda diplomacy” to the Center East.
The 2 pandas — identified in Chinese language as Si Hai and Jing Jing — will spend the following 15 years in an indoor enclosure at Al Khor Park the place circumstances are just like the western Chinese language forests that wild pandas name residence.
Si Hai, a 3-year-old feminine weighing about 150 kilos, will probably be given the Arabic identify Thuraya, whereas Jing Jing, a 4-year-old male weighing 265 kilos, will probably be identified in Arabic as Suhail. About 1,800 kilos of recent bamboo — which pandas eat nearly solely — will probably be flown in for them each week.
The pandas will probably be out there for public viewing by the point Qatar hosts the World Cup beginning Nov. 20. Though the Chinese language nationwide crew didn’t qualify for the soccer event, Chinese language corporations have been concerned within the development of main initiatives for the occasion, together with the primary stadium.
Big pandas, a weak species that seldom reproduces within the wild, are thought of a nationwide treasure and image of China. There are about 1,800 within the wild, and an extra 600 dwelling in captivity.
China has despatched pandas to about 20 nations, together with america, as a diplomatic software to enhance ties with international nations, however Qatar is the primary nation to obtain them within the Center East. Lately, China has been strengthening its relations with nations within the area, whilst diplomatic points like tensions over Taiwan and Russia’s struggle in Ukraine pressure its ties with the West.
Talking at a welcome ceremony, Zhou Jian, the Chinese language ambassador to Qatar, known as the pandas a “image of peace.”
“Allow us to want the 2 beautiful big pandas a contented life and wholesome progress of their new residence in Qatar,” he stated in a model of his speech he posted on Twitter. “Could they bring about extra love, shock and pleasure to all!”
The Related Press contributed.