Rhenen, the Netherlands, Jul 1: Some 50 table tennis players from all over the Netherlands competed on Sunday in the 2019 Panda Cup table tennis tournament here in the central Dutch city known for its zoo that hosts two giant pandas from China.
Among the players were professionals, amateurs as well as teenage enthusiasts, both Chinese and Dutch, from local clubs.
"Through the games, the Sino-Dutch friendship increases from generation to generation and from people to people," said Xu Hong, Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands.
The first Panda Cup table tennis tournament was launched in 2017 by the Chinese Embassy to welcome Wu Wen (Beautiful Powerful Cloud, the female panda) and Xing Ya (Elegant Star, male), to the Netherlands on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Dutch diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level.
"By holding the tournament, we not only play ping-pong, the national game of China, but also visit and see giant pandas, the national treasure of China. And by combining the two Chinese elements, the Panda Cup has become a much popular event," said Xu.
The award ceremony was held at Pandasia, the special compound in Ouwehands Zoo where the two pandas live. They receive many enthusiastic fans every day. They also have their own online video shows, making them the cyber celebrities in the Netherlands. (UNI-Xinhua)