Target: China’s Minster of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi
Goal: End the smuggling of tiger parts and other crimes by increasing border security between China and Myanmar
Wild tiger populations are plummeting despite conservation efforts as illegal trade in bones, skins, and other body parts continues. Mong La, known as the Las Vegas of Myanmar, allows the illegal trade to continue because it exists outside of government control in Myanmar. While trade in tiger parts has decreased in other areas, it flourishes in Mong La—the six shops selling wild cat parts in 2006 have increased to at least 21 thanks to a lack of regulations and law enforcement.
This lawless area needs to be regulated. There are no more than 3,000 wild tigers left, and allowing this trade to continue despite laws against it is a serious breach of ethics. Because Mong La sits right on the border of Myanmar and China, lax border enforcement means many tiger skins other illegal goods can be smuggled in. Mong La runs on Chinese electricity, Chinese currency and Chinese tourism, encouraging the trade of illegal tiger parts in addition to drugs, illegal gambling, and prostitution. While the city might technically be in Myanmar, China has the power to stop the illegal activities that make Mong La a popular destination.
Don’t let the illegal tiger trade continue. Mong La is a lawless place that exploits animals and people for profit, and China, just next door, has the power to end it. Repair broken border fences, stop providing electricity unless the city cleans up its act, and condemn the area’s continued breaking of international law.
Dear Minister Yi,
Mong La, a town on the border of Myanmar and China, is a lawless city trading in illegal tiger parts, drugs and prostitution. The city is also run on Chinese electricity and Chinese currency—despite the fact that Chinese people are technically not allowed in without paperwork, holes in the border fences and bribes allow many people entry. This has to stop—as illegal tiger trade continues, the wild tiger population decreases at shocking rates.
Though Mong La is in Myanmar, it is largely supported by Chinese money. If the Myanmar government is unwilling to take care of the situation in Mong La, China can make up for it on its end by repairing the fences and increasing border patrol to eliminate the smuggling of illegal tiger parts. Allowing this to continue is detrimental for many reasons; many of the illegal activities are being done by Chinese citizens, illegal tiger parts and other goods are being smuggled back over the border into China and China’s electricity is powering the casinos in Mong La.
This has to stop. Tigers are an important part of the ecosystem and their extinction would spell trouble for many other species of animals and plants. Ending the smuggling in Mong La is a step in the right direction for animal conservation and crime prevention. Please use your power as Minister of Foreign Affairs to condemn the illegal activities in Mong La and push for stricter control of the area to prevent smuggling and crime.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ukhomeoffice via Wikimedia Commons