Britain Welcomes First Giant Pandas In 17 Years

Britain signed an historic agreement with China Monday to bring two giant pandas to Edinburgh Zoo.

Tian Tian and Yangguang, a breeding pair born in 2003, will be the first to live in the UK for 17 years.

"This ... represents the beginning of a program of research, education and partnership and the project has huge benefit for the UK and Scotland, both in supporting giant panda conservation and in enhancing our programs in education, science and conservation," said David Windmill, chief executive officer of the zoo based in Edinburgh, Scotland's capital.

The agreement was witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and China's Vice-Premier, Li Keqiang, who is in the UK on a four-day visit.

The rest of Li's trip is unlikely to be so cuddly -- as the thorny issue of China's human rights record is expected to come up.