(MENAFN) China has announced that it will gift Qatar two gigantic pandas to commemorate the FIFA World Cup, which will be hosted in the country in November and December.
Zhou Jian, China's ambassador to Qatar, announced two pandas called "Suhail" and "Soraya" will arrive in the nation next month, ahead of the football tournament, which begins on November 20.
“This is a gift presented by the 1.4 billion Chinese people for the Qatar World Cup, and will surely become a new symbol of China-Qatar friendship,” the envoy stated at a reception.
Despite the fact that China's team failed not qualify for the World Cup, Chinese firms have been participating in the building of megaprojects surrounding the tournament.
Following Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani's attendance at the contentious Winter Olympics in China, President Xi Jinping stated that he was ready to initiate panda collaboration with the Middle East.
China is becoming increasingly isolated from Western countries as a result of concerns such as its backing for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. As a result, "it is still attempting to capitalize on the World Cup, and what better way to achieve that than with some panda diplomacy," Al Jazeera's Patrick Fok reported from Beijing.
Suhail refers to one of the brightest stars seen in the Gulf area, whereas Soraya refers to the Pleiades star cluster.
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