By Jeff Rathke
The United States commends the Government of the People’s Republic of China for destroying over 600 kilograms of ivory in Beijing today and for its commitment to eventually halt the commercial processing and sale of ivory and its products.
Destroying illegal wildlife products demonstrates China’s ongoing strong commitment to ending wildlife trafficking, a global challenge with conservation, economic, health and security dimensions that affects all nations. China’s action today, building on China’s crush in Guangdong Province in 2014, as well as similar events held in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Chad, Belgium, Kenya, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Republic of Congo, sends a powerful message to wildlife poachers and traffickers and to the consumers of illegal wildlife products.
Today’s event is a concrete action that reinforces commitments made at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogues in 2013 and 2014. Securing a ban on the commercial sale of ivory is a critical element in our efforts stop the poaching and end wildlife trafficking. We look forward to continuing our mutual efforts when we meet during the next Strategic and Economic Dialogue in June.
U.S. Government officials from U.S. Embassy Beijing participated in the event. The United States remains deeply committed to working in partnership with China and other governments, as well as local communities, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and others, to strengthen the global commitment to combat and end wildlife trafficking.