After a bear in Taiwan was diagnosed with a potentially fatal brain disease, China’s renowned “Panda diplomacy” was put to the test.An MRI scan indicated the injury, and the Taipei Zoo informed CNN on Thursday that they had asked specialists in China for assistance in treating their Giant Panda, Tuan Tuan.After Tuan Tuan started acting strangely, lost his appetite, and experienced a three-minute seizure in late August, they are seeking for assistance in treating him.
However, given that relations between China and Taiwan have deteriorated ever since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the independent island in August, the request raises the possibility of a delicate diplomatic balancing act.
Despite never having bad control over it, China regards Taiwan as part of its territory and has threatened to “reunite” it with the Chinese Mainland, using force if necessary. It has increased pressure on the island after Pelosi’s visit by conducting a number of military drills right outside it’s borders.
Animal enthusiasts will now be watching to see how it responds to the zoo’s appeal on both sides of the Taiwan strait.