China firmly opposes ivory smuggling and will continue to work with the international community to protect wildlife, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.
Spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at the ministry's daily press briefing in response to a question about three Chinese citizens apprehended in Tanzania with a considerable amount of ivory in their residence.
China had paid close attention to the case, Hong said. The Chinese ambassador in Tanzania had immediately checked the information and made a statement strongly condemning poaching and ivory smuggling, and promising cooperation in fighting the crimes, Hong said.
He noted that the embassy called on Chinese tourists to abide by the law and stay away from ivory smuggling.
China asked the Tanzanian police to act strictly in accordance with the law and protect legal rights of Chinese citizens, Hong added.
The Chinese government firmly opposes elephant poaching and ivory smuggling and has taken measures including law-making, integrated law enforcement and international cooperation, which have curbed the ivory trade, said Hong.
China will continue to work with the international community in this regard, he said.