CHINESE ACADEMY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE
AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION
MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, P. R. CHINA

Wed.29/10/2014

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China will banall commercial ivory trading and processing by the end of 2017, the StateCouncil, China's cabinet, announced on December 30, 2016. The announcement hasbeen highly regarded by the international community, and is a sign of theChinese government's attitude toward participating in global ecologygovernance.

Traditional Chinese culture has long considered elephant tusks a wealth andstatus symbol. The craft of ivory carving reached great heights in the ShangDynasty (C.1600-1046 BC), and was included in China's list of intangiblecultural heritage in 2006. China, a signatory of the Convention on InternationalTrade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), is allowed byCITES' standing committee to import ivory products that remain unsold fromthree south African countries via legitimate channels, as well as to designatecertain factories and retailers within China to engage in ivory production andselling. Each of the legitimate ivory items sold in China is required to beaccompanied by a collection certificate with the item's photo on it.

The author is theassociate research fellow of the Institute of International Development Cooperation.

This article is publishedon Global Times (January 9, 2017).

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