Chinese pandas in eye of political storm in Belgium
BRUSSELS (AFP) - Rival Dutch- and French-speaking communities in Belgium are at each others' throats again, this time because of a loan by China of two pandas to the linguistically divided nation.
The rare bears, a reliable draw for visitors, are to be housed in a zoo in French-speaking southern Wallonia, not far from the city of Mons whose last mayor is none other than Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.
The bow-tied premier was promised the pandas this week by Premier Li Keqiang while on a visit to China.
"The arrival of these two pandas is an honour for Belgium and underlines the trust between our two nations," PM Di Rupo was quoted as saying Wednesday by the Belga news agency.