BEIJING (THE CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The horse given by French President Emmanuel Macron to President Xi Jinping is now in a 30-day quarantine, after which it will be sent to a horse ranch, according to the Beijing inspection and quarantine authority.
During Macron's state visit to China from Jan 8 to Jan 10, he gave a horse of the elite French Republican Guard to Xi as a state gift, along with a saddle and sabre.
The eight-year old brown gelding named Vesuve de Brekka arrived in Beijing on Jan 4 by plane.
It passed the strict inspection of the Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau and has since begun the 30-day quarantine, said Wang Xiaojie, quarantine officer of the bureau.
"Before its arrival, we disinfected the quarantine site three times and prepared the materials it needs including forage and medicine," he said.
"Now the horse has been taken good care of by two veterinarians and three breeders and it is in perfect health."
Born in 2009, the horse joined the elite French Republican Guard in 2012. The eight-year-old dark brown horse took part in its last presidential escort on Nov 11 on the Champs-Elysees.
The choice of the gift, an "unprecedented diplomatic gesture" according to the French presidency, was made after the Chinese president expressed his fascination for the 104 horsemen who escorted him during his last visit to Paris in 2014.
It is the first time France has offered one of the elite cavalry corps' horses and is also a response to China's "panda diplomacy", under which a pair of pandas, Yuan Zai and Huan Huan, were sent to France in 2012.
This is not the first time that Xi has received a horse as a gift.
Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov presented an Akhal-Teke horse to Xi in May 2014.