France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron attended an official “baptism” ceremony on Monday, where she was joined by the Chinese officials to name a panda cub at a French zoo, as quoted by Le Parisien.
Brigitte Macron assisted in a naming ceremony of a tiny panda on Monday at the zoo de Beauval, provisionally named Mini Yuan Zi. A giant panda on loan, named Huan Huan, gave birth to twins four months ago, but only one of them survived. France’s First Lady was honored to perform as a “godmother” to the panda cub, and to choose a new name together with the Chinese representatives.
During the ceremony, China’s junior Minister for Foreign Affairs revealed the cub’s name as Yuan Meng, which means “to make a dream come true” in Chinese.
After the high-profile event, Brigitte Macron told the reporters she “was very touched that she had been given this duty towards China”, as cited by AFP.
China is known for its so-called “Panda diplomacy”: Beijing has been using pandas as a diplomatic gift for many centuries. Chinese officials are only lending their pandas to the zoos all over the world in order to protect the species. Huan Huan and Yuan Meng are expected to stay in France until 2022.
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About 100 accredited journalists were watching the solemn ceremony, which represents a sign of amicable diplomatic relations between Paris and Beijing.