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China refutes ivory protection accusations

(People's Daily Online)

18:08, February 18, 2013

BEIJING, Feb. 18 (People's Daily Online) -- A Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday refuted accusations regarding China's ivory protection efforts, saying the number of ivory-related criminal cases has markedly decreased.

China has made great efforts to crack down on ivory smuggling and related criminal activity has decreased remarkably in recent years, spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing.

Hong made the remarks after being asked to comment on accusations made by some media and animal protection agencies stating that Chinese demand for ivory has resulted in increased poaching.

The Chinese government has issued relevant rules and regulations, established a joint law enforcement mechanism and played an active part in international law enforcement cooperation regarding ivory smuggling, Hong said.

"These acts have helped crack down on ivory smuggling and effectively curbed it," Hong said.

China's penalties for smuggling ivory and related products are among the strictest in the world, Hong said.

He said critics have not paid attention to China's efforts to reduce smuggling.

"We expect these people to take an objective view of China, rather than look through tinted glasses," Hong said.

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