“Beware of Greeks bearing pandas”

Some Cassandras in Taiwan are horrified, warning that China’s much publicized gift of two giant pandas is actually a Trojan horse, while others are calling it an act of “animal abuse.”

The offer was made as opposition leader Lien Chan of Taiwan’s Nationalist party ended a historic visit to China. But politicians from Taiwan’s ruling party, as well as pro-independence groups, have criticised the gesture.

They placed newspaper adverts calling the gift a Trojan Horse to trick people and undermine Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Others have pointed out the high cost of caring for the pandas, saying the money would be better spent on protecting endangered species of birds that migrate to Taiwan every year.

Animal welfare groups have called on the government to reject the political gift. They said Beijing’s offer to send the pandas to Taiwan was an act of animal abuse on an endangered species.

Kind of silly, don’t you think? We all know offering the pandas is a strategic political move (and a smart one at that) on the CCP’s part, but that doesn’t mean the gift should be rejected. Let the Taiwanese people enjoy the pandas; it won’t turn them into Hu-ists.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

This situation is a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face so to speak. Theres nothing wrong with the Pandas and they won’t actually cost the “Taiwan authorities” (pfew almost typed government!) anything because the extra zoo receipts and merchandising would offset any costs. Even more important than the Pandas are the lifting of tariffs for fruits grown in southern Taiwan and other agricultural economic incentives. While Taiwan business, particularly manufacturing is very much pro-KMT, the agricultural sector hasn’t benefited from trade with mainland China. Trojan pandas are nothing compared to naked political attempts to undermine the voting base of the DPP.

May 5, 2005 @ 4:42 pm | Comment

Trojan Pandas does make a funny headline, but a bigger issue is being missed here. Is the gift given to Taiwan as an exchange between countries, or two equal entities since CCP would not acknowledge Taiwan’s independent political status. Or is it an exchange of central and local authorities. There is no doubt in my mind that the second case is what’s behind the fuzzy face, and that’s what riles a lot of Taiwanese here.
On an equally funny arguement from the other side of political spectrum, Taipei Mayor Mr. Ma said that the mere presence of pandas in Taiwan would make CCP think twice about attacking Taiwan. Good to know that the CCP’s panda-fearing Liberation Force places the well being of endangered species over military objectives.

May 5, 2005 @ 9:21 pm | Comment

Yeah, well Ma is a hoot. The running mayor should go strap on his best sneakers and run up Yangming Shan….and not come back.

May 5, 2005 @ 11:25 pm | Comment

‘Let the Taiwanese people enjoy the pandas. . . .’

‘Theres nothing wrong with the Pandas. . . .’

‘. . . Taipei Mayor Mr. Ma said that the mere presence of pandas in Taiwan would make CCP think twice about attacking Taiwan.’

Best. Entry. Ever.

May 6, 2005 @ 9:50 pm | Comment

Japan got pandas decades ago. Does this mean that Beijing likes Tokyo more than Taipai?

May 10, 2005 @ 11:08 pm | Comment

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