MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Two seven-year-old pandas, Cai Tao and Hu Chun, were transported from the Chinese province of Sichuan to Jakarta on Thursday to be placed in a special panda park with an area of 4,800 square meters (5,740 square yards), which is part of the Taman Safari Indonesia park, The Straits Times newspaper reported.
China usually gives other countries pandas on condition of a 10-year breeding loan. This gesture is widely known as "panda diplomacy" and aims to symbolize Beijing's close relations with the country receiving the furry ambassadors.
Despite the fact that China is a growing investor in Indonesia, and both countries have long enjoyed friendly ties, the "panda diplomacy" comes amid strained relations between Indonesia and China, largely due to Beijing's territorial claims in the South China Sea.
In 2015, China publicly acknowledged Indonesia’s sovereign right to the Natuna Islands, following tensions, as Beijing started a sand-pumping project to artificially enlarge the territory of some tiny islands in the South China Sea. At the same time, Beijing's claims last year that parts of Indonesia's waters off the Natunas were its "traditional fishing grounds" have increased tensions between the countries. Jakarta has repeatedly detained Chinese boats for illegal fishing near the Natunas.