HANGZHOU, April 15, Xinhua -- East China's Hangzhou City plans to build a state-level giant panda research and breeding center, according to the Hangzhou Safari Park.

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Giant pandas in Hangzhou Zoo. (photo/xinhua)

The park Saturday signed an agreement with the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda on the breeding project.

Construction of the center, which covers an area of 6 hectares, is scheduled to start this year and be finished by 2022.

Currently, there are four giant pandas in Hangzhou, two at Hangzhou Zoo and two at Hangzhou Safari Park. The project is scheduled to bring in another 20 giant pandas by 2022.

Li Desheng, an expert from the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, said there were many zoos with giant pandas across the country, but there were only a very few research and breeding centers.

The center will also conduct giant panda wild training.

Giant pandas are one of the world's most endangered species and live mainly in the northern mountains of Sichuan Province as well as in southern Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.

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