Prominent Chinese citizens call on lawmakers to “Save China’s Image, End the Ivory Trade”
We know that the government plays a crucial role in changing Chinese attitudes about ivory consumption. Not only must government make laws to discourage the burgeoning demand, but it has to change its own behaviors.
That is why Chinese artist and environmentalist Yuan Xikun and famous basketball player and activist Yao Ming both have urged the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress (CPPCC) to prohibit civil servants from giving and receiving ivory, both as gifts and as bribes. “Expensive ivory products are always used as bribes,” explained Yao. “They are an important feature of the extravagance and corruption in China.”
This follows the gesture made a couple of months ago by Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council last week to explicitly ban dishes containing shark fins, bird nests and protected wild animals at official receptions and banquets.
President Xi Jinping’s government austerity campaign to root out corruption has been expanding to include the lavish consumption of wildlife parts and products by government officials. The campaign has already led to a drop in sales of luxury watches, expensive liquors, and other extravagant “gifts” commonly used to court favor in both the business and political arena. If the proposals by Yuan and Yao are heeded, it would be a monumental step in this government effort.
The Chinese public looks to its leaders for guidance and examples. The most compelling reason for Chinese to stop buying ivory is for the government to make ivory buying illegal in all circumstances, according to a recent IFAW-commissioned survey by Rapid Asia…Read the full article at IFAW International Fund for Animal Welfare