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.It was so successful that British Prime Minister Edward Heath asked for pandas for the United Kingdom during a visit to China in 1974.Chia-Chia and Ching-Ching therefore arrived at the London Zoo a few weeks later.In 1998, China offered the Republic of China two giant pandas in exchange for wartime peace.The PRC insisted that a transfer from mainland China to Taiwan was a domestic transfer, not subject to CITES, while the ROC government disputed this and would not accept the pandas without CITES procedures.
Upon the pandas' arrival in April 1972, First Lady Pat Nixon donated the pandas to the National Zoo in Washington D.For example, in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, five Chinese sturgeons, symbolising the five Olympic rings, were given by China's Central Government to Hong Kong.In 2009, the government of the Seychelles Islands announced its gift of a pair of Aldabra giant tortoises to the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and in appreciation of China's assisting the small insular nation with the expenses of participating in the Expo.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.For example, British diplomats worried that a 1964 transfer of a panda from a London zoo to Moscow would worsen Sino-Soviet relations. The image was widely broadcast by the Chinese media and was purportedly interpreted as a sign that Zoellick supported better relations between China and the United States.