Panda diplomacy on the table with Chinese premier to visit Adelaide

Panda diplomacy on the table with Chinese premier to visit Adelaide

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has confirmed China’s premier will visit Adelaide in a matter of days, sparking hopes the city will get the go-ahead for new pandas to replace existing duo Wang Wang and Funi, who are due to depart when Adelaide Zoo’s lease for them ends in November.

Since their arrival in 2009, the two pandas have captured the hearts of South Australians and tourists alike, becoming iconic figures at the Adelaide Zoo.

Their impending departure has disappointed visitors, but the possibility of new pandas taking their place has emerged as a glimmer of hope for the zoo. 

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Deputy Premier Susan Close remained tight-lipped about the matter when asked today.

“I’m not going to say anything before an official announcement but we all know how much South Australians love their pandas,” she said.

Meanwhile, Albanese confirmed Premier Li Qiang’s upcoming visit to Adelaide, hinting at the potential for panda diplomacy during the trip. 

“My government is pro-panda. We like panda bears, and so do Australians, I reckon,” he said.

9News understands Li is set to attend a lunch at Adelaide Zoo, with talk of the pandas on the menu.

Adelaide Zoo said it had no update regarding the future of pandas, but was encouraged by ongoing discussions with the China Wildlife Conservation Association.

This article was produced with the assistance of 9ExPress.

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