KUALA LUMPUR: The third cub of giant panda couple Xing Xing and Liang Liang from China has been named “Sheng Yi”, which means “peace and friendship”.

Sheng Yi, the female cub which was born on May 31 last year, has been on public display since December 2021.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan, who attended the naming ceremony at Zoo Negara, said Sheng Yi is in good health and now weighs more than 27kg.

“The Malaysian government hopes that Sheng Yi will be able to further boost the existing friendship between Malaysia and China,” he said in a statement after attending the ceremony here yesterday.

According to Bernama, the ceremony held at the Giant Panda Conservation Centre in Zoo Negara was also attended by China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing and Malaysian Zoological Society president Datuk Zaharin Md Arif.

The panda couple’s first baby named Nuan Nuan was born on Aug 18, 2015, and was returned to China on Nov 14, 2017.

The second, named Yi Yi, was born on Jan 14, 2018.

Zoo Negara deputy president Rosly @Rahmat Amat Lana in April had said that the zoo is still waiting for the green light from the government regarding Yi Yi’s repatriation to China.

The giant panda pair, which became a symbol of 40 years of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China, arrived in the country on May 21, 2014, and will be here for a period of 10 years under the Giant Panda International Conservation Cooperation Agreement Programme.

On Dec 2, 2020, it was reported that Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, who was energy and natural resources minister then, had said that every cub born to the giant panda couple must be sent back to China at a minimum age of 24 months and not beyond four years old.