Hong Kong (AFP) Shipments of protected African species including tortoises, pythons and parrots to Asia have soared since 2006 as demand grows in the Far East for exotic pets, meats and other animal products, a new study warned Tuesday. Wildlife imports of leopard tortoises, African spurred tortoises and ball pythons into Asia increased nearly tenfold in a decade, the report by monitoring network Traffic said, while trade in animal skins including seals also rose. Although much of the trade is legal, all of the species in the study are protectedRead More
Beijing (AFP) The African Union’s chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as “lies” intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU’s Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. “I don’t see it is in the interest of China to spy,” AU commission chairmanRead More
Hong Kong (AFP) Hong Kong voted to ban ivory sales in a landmark move Wednesday to end the infamous trade in the city. Lawmakers overwhelmingly voted for the bill that will abolish the trade by 2021, following on the heels of China’s complete ban on ivory sales that went into effect at the end of last year. “Shutting down this massive ivory market has thrown a lifeline to elephants,” said Bert Wander of global advocacy group Avaaz in a statement. “Today is a great day for elephants. Hong Kong hasRead More
Shanghai (AFP) South African striker Dino Ndlovu spent three nights sheltering in a station toilet before going on to play Champions League football — and he is now embarking on the latest chapter in his career with a move to China. The well-travelled 27-year-old has swapped European football with Azerbaijan’s Qarabag for Zhejiang Greentown, a club in China’s second tier and formerly called Hangzhou Greentown. It is Ndlovu’s first time in China, he arrived just days ago and does not speak the language, he told AFP as he adjusts toRead More
Beijing (AFP) Beijing Guoan are pleading ignorance over the protracted fate of Cedric Bakambu even after the striker declared he was China-bound in a reported 40-million-euro deal. In a statement to AFP, the Chinese club declined to confirm Bakambu’s signing and said they had heard he left Spain’s Villarreal for “personal reasons”. It raises major questions over whether the drawn-out move for the French-born Congolese hitman, who has hit nine La Liga goals this season, will now go ahead. This month, the powerful Chinese Football Association warned clubs against anyRead More
Beijing (AFP) China’s complete ban on ivory trade went into effect Sunday, officials said, a major step forward in Beijing’s efforts to rein in what was once the world’s largest market for illegal ivory. “From today… the buying and selling of elephant ivory and goods by any market, shop or vendor is against the law!” the forestry ministry said on its official account on Chinese social media platform Weibo. “From now on, if a merchant tells you ‘this is a state-approved ivory dealer’… he is duping you and knowingly violatingRead More
Beijing (AFP) A Chinese metal trading firm said Thursday it is investigating whether children are toiling in Congolese mines that supply it with cobalt, a key resource for mobile phones and electric cars. Yantai Cash, a cobalt exporter based in eastern Shandong province, told AFP that it is looking into the supply chain following a request from the London Metal Exchange, which sets prices for the market. Amnesty International issued a report last week accusing leading technology and electric car companies of failing to ensure that minerals used for batteriesRead More
Beijing (AFP) Chinese President Xi Jinping and Djibouti’s visiting leader Omar Ismail Guelleh, whose African nation is hosting China’s first overseas military base, agreed on Thursday to elevate their nations’ diplomatic relations. The two countries agreed to form a “strategic partnership” as Guelleh held talks with Xi at the imposing Great Hall of the People in Beijing. China has described the base on the Horn of Africa, which opened in August, as “defensive in nature”, saying it will provide support for naval escorts, UN peacekeeping, anti-piracy and evacuating Chinese nationalsRead More
Beijing (AFP) China on Wednesday said it respected Robert Mugabe’s decision to step down as president of Zimbabwe and vowed to continue “friendly” relations with the country it backed during his authoritarian rule. China became a major political and economic partner of Mugabe’s regime over the years as the West shunned the veteran leader over his government’s human rights violations. But the Asian power has avoided taking sides since the military took over and placed Mugabe under house arrest last week. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang praised Mugabe, 93,Read More
Shanghai (AFP) Top Chinese oil company CEFC China Energy on Tuesday denied any involvement in an alleged multi-million dollar bribery scandal that US investigators say helped the giant win business advantages in Africa. US officials announced Monday that they had arrested Hong Kong’s former home affairs secretary and the ex-foreign minister of Senegal for leading the alleged scam, with some deals arranged in the halls of the United Nations. Former Senegalese top diplomat Cheikh Gadio and Hong Kong’s Patrick Chi Ping Ho are accused of sending huge bribes to high-levelRead More