In Jakarta two giant pandas are enjoying their new home at a multi-million dollar sanctuary. The cultural ambassadors are part of China’s long-running ‘panda diplomacy’ program.
Cai Tao and Hu Chun arrived less than a month ago in Jakarta, but they’re already the country’s most popular animals.
CGTN’s Silkina Ahluwalia reports.
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The two pandas have captured the hearts of millions across Indonesia. Their sanctuary is finally open to the public.
The event was officiated by Chinese Vice Premiere Liu Yandong in which she promised a strong economic and environmental cooperation between China and Indonesia.
“I hope with this conservation program we can see a positive progress and outcome in many areas including economic, social, and cultural as well as the strengthening of the ecosystem of China and Indonesia,” Liu Yandong said.
The pair was sent to Indonesia as part of the Panda Diplomacy program, an initiative that began in 1950’s aimed at boosting friendship and cultural cooperation between the countries involved.
This time around, Indonesia will spend the next 10 years taking care of these beloved animals in a special enclosure built on the mountainous region of West Java.
The enclosure that the pandas live in costs around $4.5 million to build. It’s equipped with an elevator, comfortable sleeping area and an indoor and outdoor play areas for the pandas to enjoy. But the most important facility in their living quarter is the temperature, which is maintained at a cool 17 degrees Celsius at night and 24 degrees during the day.”
The enclosure sits 1,700 meters above sea level mimicking the exact living conditions of the pandas’ natural habitat in China.
Jansen Manansang, the Director for Taman Safari Indonesia said, “What makes our enclosure unique compared to other countries’ is the location. It is located high up in the mountains, surrounded by lush greeneries. The facilities we provide to the pandas are also exceptional. We have a special 10 hectare land to harvest their snack, the bamboo trees. We really believe we have built the best enclosure in Asia for the panda bears.”
Pandas are seen as a national treasure in China, a messenger of friendship and a symbol of peace and harmony.
A message that China and Indonesia hopes to further develop for a stronger bilateral relationship between the two countries.