Target: China Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi
Goal: Investigate the alleged smuggling of elephant ivory by Chinese officials and business people during a state trip to Tanzania
Chinese officials and business people smuggled ivory from Tanzania during a state visit, according to watchdog group Environmental Investigation Agency. President Xi himself went on this trip, and two Tanzanian traders have claimed that thousands of kilograms of the material, which has become a popular status symbol in China, were smuggled out of the country. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies the allegations, but has yet to investigate the situation, stating that there isn’t sufficient evidence to take it seriously.
The poaching problem in Tanzania has become so bad that half of the country’s elephants have been killed in the past five years alone. Tanzania is now the world leader in illegal ivory trading and continues to threaten the elephant population. China has frequently been cited for its role in the ivory trade, despite the government’s claims that it has cracked down on smuggling. Considering these facts, it’s extremely irresponsible for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to dismiss the allegations of ivory smuggling by country officials without bothering to investigate them.
Sign this petition to demand that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs launch an investigation into the dealings of this state-sanctioned trip, to determine if any ivory smuggling took place. If the country of China really cares about stopping the ivory trade and protecting the elephants that die from it, it will take the time to look into the allegations.
Dear Minister Yi,
Recently, the Environmental Investigation Agency accused your country of using an official state visit to Tanzania to smuggle thousands of kilograms of illegal ivory back to China. This ivory was very likely to have come directly from poachers, which have become such a problem in Tanzania that half of all the country’s elephants have been killed in just the past five years. If these allegations are true, your state officials have seriously contributed to a problem which could lead to the extinction of the elephant.
Though you’ve denied these allegations, it appears that you have not bothered to investigate what happened during this trip. Your ministry has claimed that China condemns poaching and is cracking down on the ivory trade. How can you back up this claim when you won’t investigate such a serious accusation of smuggling? If you have nothing to hide as you claim, then an investigation will only prove your point and show that you don’t tolerate ivory trading.
I’m reaching out to you to ask that you conduct a thorough investigation of the 2013 trip to Tanzania. It’s essential that the entire global community work toward ending the illegal ivory trade and putting a stop to poaching. Otherwise, the world’s elephants may disappear before we know it. Please do your part to protect these intelligent and noble animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Hugh_Grant via Pixabay