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As part of the talks between Lien Chan and the Communist Party of China (CPC), two pandas (later named Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan; tuányuán (simplified Chinese: 团圆) meaning "reunion" in Mandarin) were offered as a gift to the people of Taiwan.

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The DPP supports Taiwanese independence and opposes unification with the People's Republic of China, and saw the gift of pandas as an attempt by the CPC to draw the ROC government into its "united front".

While several zoos in Taiwan made bids to host the pandas, the ROC government raised objections, ostensibly on the grounds that pandas were not suited to the Taiwanese climate and that Taiwan did not have the expertise to rear pandas successfully.

(President Nixon reciprocated by sending back a pair of musk oxen).

Upon the pandas' arrival in April 1972, First Lady Pat Nixon donated the pandas to the National Zoo in Washington D.

C., where she welcomed them in an official ceremony.

Over twenty thousand people visited the pandas the first day they were on display, and an estimated 1.1 million visitors came to see them the first year they were in the United States.

In response to the transfer, the CITES secretariat stated that the transfer of the two pandas was a matter of "internal or domestic trade", and so was not required to be reported to CITES.

The ROC quickly issued a rebuttal to the CITES statement and clarified that the procedures for the transfer followed closely a country-to-country transfer.

The President was quoted as saying "Giant pandas are very popular among the Japanese, and they are a symbol of the friendly ties between Japan and China." Actions that other countries take with pandas are often seen as laden with meaning. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick was photographed hugging a 5-month-old panda cub during his visit to Sichuan Province.

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