BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- China has banned all ivory processing and sales businesses, said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Thursday.
China's State Forestry Administration announced on Dec. 31, 2017 the suspension of commercial processing and sales of ivory domestically. By far China has ended business activities of all its 34 processing and 143 sales enterprises, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing.
"China's moves have been applauded by many African countries, as these measures can help cut off the chain of ivory trade from its source, protect African elephant species and African and global ecosystem, as well as close the world's main ivory trade market," Lu said.
As a signatory of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, China has always fulfilled its obligations, and has made new contributions to wildlife protection in Africa by the overall ban of ivory trade, said the spokesperson.
"We are ready to work with African countries and the international community to further combat poaching and illegal trade of wildlife," Lu said.
At the 2015 Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China made explicit commitment to support wildlife protection in Africa and to jointly fight wildlife trafficking and poaching with African countries.
The Chinese government has suspended imports of ivory and all ivory products since 2015.