I wrote here and here about China's cynical attempt to bribe Taiwan into trading away its freedoms for a pair of cuddly giant pandas.
Now (via Simon World), the Telegraph reports that Taiwan has sensibly rejected China's panda diplomacy:
Taiwanese officials have said the gift of two giant pandas offered by China as part of a diplomatic charm offensive will be refused. Taiwan fears acceptance would be seen as acknowledging Beijing's claim that Taiwan is part of China.And Taiwan came up with a particularly clever excuse for rejecting the gift:
The officials said that sending the pandas would breach the 1963 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), which tightly regulates trade in animals between countries.Bonus points to Taiwan for emphasizing its separation from China even as it tells Beijing to get bent.
China considers the gift acceptable because under United Nations rules it would be regarded as an internal transfer within China, which does not come under the terms of Cites.