Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Geng Shuang confirmed at the regular press conference today that China will resume imports of beef and pork from Canada, CGTN.com reported.
Recently, the Canadian side has proposed a corrective action plan for the issuance of certificates for their meat products, after the assessment from the Chinese side.
It is believed that the Canadian rectification action plan basically meets the requirements for ensuring the meat safety and China agreed to resume the acceptance of health certificates for meat products exported to China issued by the Canadian government, Geng said.
Geng added that “we hope that Canada can earnestly fulfill its responsibility of food safety supervision, ensure the safety of meat products exported to China and ensure the smooth progress of trade.”
“Good news for Canadian farmers today: Canadian pork and beef exports to China will resume,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted on Tuesday.
It is a rare victory for the Trudeau government, which despite being re-elected last month, is battling the growing threat of western separation, following a series of scandals.
Earlier, to protect the safety of Chinese consumers, China has taken urgent preventive measures and requested the Canadian government suspend the issuance of certificates for meat exported to China starting June 25.
The decision came immediately after the Chinese Customs authorities found ractopamine residues in a batch of pork products exported from Canada, according to the statement.
China was Canada’s third-largest pork market by value through August, with CDN $491 million (US$373 million) in exports.
Canada’s red meat industry estimated in September that China’s suspension of imports had cost the sector close to CDN $100 million in losses.
The suspension came at a challenging time in Canada-China relations following Canada’s detention late last year of a top executive at the Chinese tech company Huawei, and the subsequent arrest of two Canadians in Beijing — a move that’s been widely seen as retaliation for the December arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the Financial Post reported.
“Our long-standing trade relationship with China is very important to both sides and this represents an important step for both countries,” Chris White, president of the Canadian Meat Council, said in a statement.
Both White and Trudeau extended particular thanks to Canada’s new ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, who became Trudeau’s envoy to China in September, just prior to the start of the federal election campaign, the Financial Post reported.
Diplomatic relations between Canada and China have been tense since arrest of Meng, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei. She was detained at the request of the US over allegations of violating sanctions on Iran. Her extradition trial begins in January.
Days later, China imprisoned Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.