Chinese craze for high-end furniture, flooring is killing the world’s forests

While China clamps down on logging within its borders, illegal Chinese loggers are felling the world’s forests for the sake of teak floors and fancy chairs.

In late July, 153 Chinese nationals were sentenced to life in prison for illegal logging in Burma’s northernmost Kachin state, a region known for coveted teak, padauk, beechwood, ebony and rosewood. Last week, Burmese authorities granted their release in a gesture of goodwill toward China, which is Burma’s largest trading partner.

But the gesture, while benevolent toward the loggers, will do nothing to stop the ongoing logging in the region by Chinese companies who have been plundering Burma for over a decade, mostly illegally.

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