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Charge d'Affaires a.i. Zhu Qin Attends and Addresses the Reception Marking China's Ban on Ivory

On January 31, the Chinese Embassy in the UK, the All Party Parliamentary China Group (APPCG) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) co-hosted a reception at the Houses of Parliament to mark China's Ban on Ivory. Charge d'Affaires a.i. Zhu Qin of the Chinese Embassy attended and addressed the event. More than 120 people attended, including the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Rt Hon Mark Field MP, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Lord Hague, FCO former Secretary, Lord Clement Jones, APPCG Deputy Chair, Zhang Shanning, Deputy Director General, Northeast Tiger Leopard National Park Authority, State Forestry Administration of China, Tanya Steele, Chief Executive of WWF-UK, and representatives from different sectors of China and Britain, as well as diplomats from Kenyan, Botswana, Myanmar and the Laos in Britain.

Zhu said in his speech that protecting the wildlife is key to a healthy and safe eco-environment on our planet. It is also crucial to the future of human civilization and the sustainable development of our economies and society. Over the past five years, China has made remarkable progress in building an ecological civilization, both at home and for ecological conservation of the world. It is playing a leading role in upholding ecological conservation ideals, taking concrete measures, and working for international cooperation on wildlife protection. In recent years, China not only invested a lot of resources, but also took practical steps to protect wildlife. Being an active partner in the international cooperation on protecting wildlife, China co-conducted many international actions combating illegal trade in wildlife products such as ivory. At present, the British Prime Minister Theresa May is paying an official visit to China, which is of significance to enhancing the China-UK cooperation on wildlife protection. China will continue to play a leading role in further enhancing the exchanges and cooperation on ecological civilization with all the countries in the world including Britain, so that countries could join hands in building a beautiful world for all mankind.

Zhang Shanning said in his speech that China attaches great importance to and has made unremitting efforts in combating the illegal trade in wildlife products, in particular, a total ban on the commercial processing and sales of ivory and ivory products in China by the end of 2017 shows China's firm support and determination to protect elephants and to crack down on the illegal trade in ivory. At present, under the challenging situation of illegal trade in wildlife products across the world, China stands ready to continue its leading role and contribute its part to safeguarding the global ecosystem and wildlife populations by improving the laws, strengthening enforcement, raising the awareness of the public, and expending international exchange and cooperation on wildlife protection, so as to sustain benefits for future generations.

Johnson said that China's ban on ivory trade is visionary and encouraging, which will play an important role in protecting the species of African elephants. Britain would like to take the opportunities, such as the Fourth High Level Meeting on Illegal Wildlife Trade to be held in London this October to join hands with all its global partners including China, to implement the relevant UN initiatives and international consensus, and enhance global exchanges and cooperation on protecting wildlife.

Tanya Steele said that China's ban helps to break the chain of ivory trade and will have a significant and profound impact on the protection of African elephant species, ecological systems in African and the world, the implementation of sustainable development, and the actions of combating corruption and organized crimes. She called for more countries to follow China's example and commit themselves to taking practical actions to protect elephants and other wildlife species and jointly fight against illegal wildlife trade.

The British government officials, members of parliament at the reception extended their congratulations and appreciation to China, hailing China's initiative and contribution to elephant and wildlife protection. They look forward to enhancing cooperation with China and jointly advancing global ecological civilization. The take home information for the participants included a book entitled Ecological Civilization of Contemporary Chinese.

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