A Shanghai TV host recently suggested during a program that the giant panda should be considered as China's national symbol. The idea has sparked a heated debate.
An editorial in the The Beijing Youth Daily said the dragon has traditionally been viewed as the symbol of China and changing this image would be quite hard.
According to an earlier survey, 90 percent of netizens felt the dragon was the best symbol for China. In fact, Chinese people consider themselves descendants of the dragon.
The article notes that many people said that however lovely the panda may be, they could not possibly accept it as the national symbol. They said the animal lacked the cultural meaning that the dragon embodies.
Although a creature of folk lore, dragons have a lot of significance in Chinese culture.