China responds to Washington's request for pandas

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A group of people backing an initiative to bring pandas to Washington say they are encouraged by a response from Chinese President Xi Jinping expressing interest in loaning a pair of the endangered animals to the state.

The supporters announced Monday that Xi had responded to their letters signed by about 40 state lawmakers asking for the pandas. In his letter, Xi said he has directed his government to explore different options for sending the animals.

Lakewood businessman Ron Chow, who has been working on the issue, says Xi's response is a good sign for Washington's panda proponents. But he says the state still has a long way to go.

Pandas can be seen at four zoos in the U.S., including in San Diego, Atlanta, Memphis and Washington, D.C.


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