The Chinese Embassy says it will support the Malawi Government’s efforts in fighting illegal poaching.
The statement from the embassy comes at a time when the Court in Lilongwe has sentenced some Chinese nationals for smuggling wildlife products.
Seven Chinese nationals and two Malawians have been sentenced for trafficking products extracted from protected wildlife animals such as pangolins and ivory.
China says anyone involved in wildlife crime should face the law as poaching in African countries is still rampant.
The statement reads in part: “Wildlife is precious resources endowed by nature and it’s also necessary condition for the survival and development of mankind.
“The Chinese Government has adopted the toughest stance on wildlife crime and has strengthened cooperation with African countries on wildlife conservation by forming an effective mechanism to jointly fight poaching and illegal trade…”
According to the statement, both killing for trade and fun are serious crimes hence China’s call for all African nations to take action to prohibit any illegal practices of hunting and trafficking African wildlife.
The United States Government has been supporting Malawi Government efforts to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trading by working closely with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife as well as the Malawi Police Dog section in the anti-poaching mission.
US Malawi Embassy public affairs officer Douglas Johnston has since hailed the courts in Malawi for prosecuting seven Chinese nationals and two Malawians in the popular case of Jinfu-Zheng.
According to the embassy, the Jinfu-Zheng case is one of Southern Africa’s most prolific wildlife trafficking syndicates which includes Li Hao Yaun and Qin Hua Zhang—both repeat offenders serving six-year sentences in the country.
Said Johnstone: “The United States hopes that these arrests and subsequent convictions will help put an end to the depletion of Malawi’s precious natural resources by criminal elements. The United States calls on all nations, particularly destinations for Africa’s wildlife, to move beyond words, take action, and speak out against transnational criminal networks.”
According to the US Embassy in Malawi, the Interpol estimates that international illegal wildlife trade worldwide is worth over K15 trillion ($20 billion) annually.
In 2016, Malawi was identified as a country of primary concern and Southern Africa’s principal transit hub for ivory trafficking. Malawi is linked to two of the biggest seizures of all time–6.9 tonnes of elephant ivory shipped from Lilongwe and seized in Singapore in 2001 , and 2.6 tonnes of elephant ivory seized in Mzuzu in 2013.