( dpa ) - Taiwan's president-designate Ma Ying-jeou approved Sunday Taipei Zoo's acceptance of two giant pandas from China, which the present Taiwan government had blocked for political reasons.
"When I was the Taipei mayor, I already expressed support for accepting the giant pandas from China, so I am in favour of accepting the pandas," he said at a news conference unveiling his policies on Sunday.
Chinese President Hu Jintao offered the pair of giant pandas to Taiwan in 2005 and the Taipei Zoo is building a Panda Hall to accommodate them.
However, the government has delayed the approval of the zoo's import application, for fear that the pandas are Beijing's means of wooing Taiwanese.
But now that Ma has expressed his approval, the two pandas may arrive in Taiwan later this year.
A spokesman for Taipei Zoo, Chao Ming-chieh said the Panda Hall will be finished in October.
Ma, from the opposition party KMT, won a landslide victory in Saturday's presidential election. He will be sworn in on May 20 when President Chen Shui-bian steps down after serving two four-year terms, the longest tenure for a Taiwan president.