Dan­ish leader gets treat: trip to panda base in Chengdu

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By HUANG ZHILING in Chengdu and AN BAIJIE in Bei­jing

What type of crea­ture caught the at­ten­tion of Dan­ish Prime Min­is­ter Lars Loekke Ras­mussen dur­ing his of­fi­cial visit to China?

It could be the gi­ant panda, or, as many Chinese peo­ple sus­pect, the oys­ter.

Soon af­ter ar­riv­ing in Chengdu, cap­i­tal of South­west China’s Sichuan prov­ince, on Tues­day, Ras­mussen trav­eled to the Chengdu Re­search Base of Gi­ant Panda Breed­ing, where the prime min­is­ter fed ap­ples and bread to two gi­ant pan­das — Mao­sun and Hex­ing.

Pan­das have played an im­por­tant role in boost­ing China’s ties with Den­mark since Queen Mar­grethe II’s state visit to China in 2014, dur­ing which Bei­jing agreed to lend two pan­das to Copen­hagen for re­search and breed­ing pro­grams.

Sichuan is known to the world as the home of panda. Zhang Zhihe, direc­tor of the Chengdu panda base, in­tro­duced Ras­mussen to the pan­das’ liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

In March, the Copen­hagen Zoo un­veiled the de­sign of a planned en­clo­sure for the two pan­das, which are sched­uled to ar­rive in Den­mark near the end of next year.

Dur­ing Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s state visit to Fin­land last month, China also agreed to co­op­er­ate in panda re­search there.

Apart from pan­das, oys­ters have also been a high­light of the Dan­ish prime min­is­ter’s visit. Be­fore his visit, the Dan­ish em­bassy in China com­plained about Pa­cific oys­ters in­vad­ing the Dan­ish coast, which has trig­gered huge in­ter­est among the Chinese pop­u­lace.

Den­mark wel­comes Chinese tourists to en­joy the beau­ti­ful scenery and at the same time to help the coun­try con­sume the de­li­cious in­vader, Ras­mussen said at an event in Chengdu to pro­mote tourism of the Nordic coun­try.

he Dan­ish prime min­is­ter’s in­vi­ta­tion re­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back im­me­di­ately on China’s so­cial web­sites.

“Give us free visas, and we will fix (your prob­lem) in a month,” one ne­ti­zen wrote on his Twit­ter-like weibo ac­count.

Con­tact the writer at an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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