30 January 2013

Kenya: Is Stolen Property Allowed in China?

Photo: Ted Kinyanjui/Flickr
Kenya Wildlife Service attend to a poached elephant (file photo).


YESTERDAY the Chinese ambassador told a press conference that his nationals had nothing to do with the illegal trade in ivory.

Yet Chinese are constantly in the courts after being caught with elephant tusks. In Kenya 2,000 elephants a year are being killed by poachers.

Poaching was bad in the 1970s and 1980s but there were more elephants then. We now face the possibility that Africa's elephants will be wiped out in the next two decades.

The poaching is the result of the soaring world price for ivory, driven by the insatiable demand of the new Chinese middle class for ivory status symbols.

The poachers sell their ivory to middlemen who sell it to Chinese in Nairobi who ship it to China.

The Chinese government is in denial when it argues that Chinese people are not the actual poachers.

Is it legal to buy stolen property in China? Can you buy a stolen car in China but then argue you are not the thief?

Virtually all the ivory arriving in China has been stolen from Africa.

If the Chinese government is truly committed to the welfare of Africa, it should halt the import of ivory immediately.

Quote of the day: "Never make a defence or apology before you be accused." - King Charles 1 of England was beheaded on January 30, 1649.

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