China has said some western media reports implicating the country in the illegal ivory trade are “misleading” intentionally and are targeting to derail the long mutual friendship and cooperation between it and African states.
Beijing has also insisted that it strongly opposes the trade even as western media have been linking the country with illegal trade of ivory on the back of long term and historical relations with Africa.
The Director-General in the Department of Africa Affairs of Chinese Foreign Ministry, Mr Lu Shaye, said here yesterday some western media are reporting that the increase of illegal trade of ivory and some serious poaching in Africa (Tanzania) have increased due to huge demand from China.
“…Such information is misleading the whole world… why are they (western) doing this? They want to discourage the friendship and cooperation between China and Africa,” Mr Lu, who once served in Africa as China’s Senegal ambassador, said.
The Director was responding to ‘Sunday News’ questions regarding the China stance on illegal ivory trade and its assistance to Tanzania and Kenya in fighting against poaching.
“As a matter of fact China is not the only country that has ivory artifacts, a lot others have, for example Japan and other Southeast Asia countries have…it’s the same case with the UK.
“Prince William of UK Royal Family–as a wildlife conservationist (vows) to destroy all ivory artifacts of Royal Family to show his determination to fight against illegal trade of ivory,” the Director, known here as Mr Africa, said.
He said China is more than willing to work with Africa to fight against the poaching and illegal trade of ivories: “as a matter of fact China conducted joint operations with some Africa countries including Tanzania and Kenya…going forward China will step-up efforts by providing more assistance to Africa to fight against the trade”.
Recently UK’s Daily Mail reported that Tanzania government turned a blind eye to the fight against blood ivory trade which compelled the government to strongly blast the newspaper over its report saying it was one sided.
The Daily Mail article carried the headline: “Tanzania slaughters over 11,000 elephants a year for the bloody trade in tusks and its President turns a blind eye.
”China recently destroyed six tonnes of confiscated ivory, raising hopes for progress in the war against illicit trade in the commodity, most of which comes from Africa.
The ceremony, largely symbolic, was conducted in the city of Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, according to news reports and a release from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Along with burning its ivory stockpile, China has increased some of its enforcement against illegally trading ivory, with the arrest last month of five poachers in Jilin Province, a record, the WCS said in its release.
“We congratulate China’s government for showing the world that elephant poaching and illegal ivory consumption is unacceptable,” said WCS president and CEO Cristián Samper.
“We are hopeful that this gesture shows that we can win the war against poaching and that elephants will once again flourish.”