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Chinese Giant Pandas Bring Friendship and Joy To Canada

Two Chinese giant pandas named "Er Shun" and "Da Mao" arrived at the Pearson International Airport of Toronto byPanda Express, a FedEx Express Canada MD-11 aircraft on the morning of Mar 25, 2013. A grand welcoming ceremony was held at the airport by the Canadian Government for the two VIPs from China, which was joined by the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mrs. Laureen Harper , along with many senior Canadian officials, dignitaries and a whole lot of media. H.E. Mr. Zhang Junsai, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Canada, and Mr. Fang Li, the Chinese Consul-General in Toronto were also present at the ceremony.

Prime Minister Harper made very warm remarks at the ceremony. While saying it is a great honour to be entrusted with Er Shun and Da Mao, he also referred to them as "symbols of peace and friendship" between China and Canada and highlighted their role as a reminder of the bilateral relationship based on mutual respect and growing collaborations.

Ambassador Zhang congratulated Prime Minister Harper on the fulfillment of the panda dream of the Canadian people and expressed his wish that "Er Shun" and "Da Mao" could spread friendship and joy during their 10-year-stay in Canada. By citing an old Chinese saying, 'The relationship between two countries is based on the affection between their peoples', he stressed that the long term solid growth of the Sino-Canada relationship was based on the people-to-people links. Ambassador Zhang expressed his gratitude to the experts from both countries and all those who have given their blessing to the two adorable creatures, and wished the Panda couple could bring to Canada some junior "Kung Fu Pandas" at an early date.

The last time pandas were seen at the Toronto Zoo was during a three-month exhibit in 1985. The new pair of pandas who arrived on Monday are expected to make their first public appearance at the zoo's special Giant Panda Exhibit in May. After a 5-year-stay in Toronto, they will spend another 5 years in their new home at the Calgary Zoo.

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