Speaking of the arrival of the two pandas today, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
“I’m delighted by the arrival of pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang at Edinburgh Zoo today, which is a reflection of the strength of our relationship with China. It shows that we can co-operate closely not only on commerce, but on a broad range of environmental and cultural issues as well.
“These two pandas will not just be a fantastic attraction, but their arrival in the UK will play an important part in efforts to save this magnificent but sadly threatened species.
“I know that a huge amount of work has gone into securing their loan and they will be a great showcase for UK-China links in science and research.”
FCO Minister Jeremy Browne said:
“Being able to welcome these pandas today is the culmination of many years’ hard work in both the UK and China, and Edinburgh Zoo’s determination to preserve this iconic species.
“The loan symbolises a strengthening of our relationship with China. We are partners for growth and are seeing our business and cultural links grow and expand into new areas all the time. The UK Giant Panda Project is an imaginative element of our future cooperation. I am sure that thousands of British people will enjoy visiting the pandas.
“Having seen these incredible animals for myself on my recent visit to China, I feel especially encouraged by the conservation efforts taking place to ensure their future. It is essential that this continues. Edinburgh Zoo’s support through this loan will play a major role in developing research programmes and conserving the bears’ natural environment for future generations.”