Taiwan agonizes over embracing a gift from China of its most precious weapon - Mark Magnier

From Los Angeles Times, via SFGate.com (link):

Taiwan and China quibble about everything from diplomatic slights and hidden meanings to ancient history and obscure definitions. So perhaps it’s not surprising that they’d argue over two chubby animals that bite each other’s ears and have trouble procreating.

China’s latest weapon in its increasingly effective charm offensive against Taiwan is an offer of giant . Who would think of turning down two lovable animals that zoos around the world could only dream about, you might ask?

The government of archrival Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, for one, which finds itself tied in knots over the offer. Let one panda’s nose in the tent, Chen and his allies fear, and you buy into Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of China, a pill impossible to swallow for the pro-independence government on the island.

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