PortandTerminal.com, June 28, 2019
A controversial pork shipment that prompted China to halt Canadian imports may have come from someplace else, according to the Canadian government
Earlier this week the Chinese government announced a suspension on imported meat products from Canada over claims of forged customs documents, the latest sign of deteriorating relations between the two countries.
The Canadian RCMP’s international investigations unit has launched a probe into a batch of pork products labelled with a falsified Canadian Food Inspection Agency export certificate. China has since suspended all meat imports from Canada.
International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr said today he wouldn’t speculate on the possible origin of the meat, but suggested that whoever falsified the documentation for it was exploiting Canada’s status as a safe supplier.
It’s not about the bacon. It’s about Huawei
The background to this is the increasingly tense relations between China and Canada ever since the arrest of the Huawei official (and only daughter of the firm’s founder), Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou.
Relations between China and Canada nosedived in December after Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver on a U.S. arrest warrant. She denies any wrongdoing and Beijing is demanding her return.
Since then, China has arrested two Canadians — Michael Kovrig and Michael Spravor — on trumped up charges of spying, and sentenced another, Robert Schellenberg, who had been serving a 15-year prison sentence, to death for drug smuggling.
After Meng’s arrest, China detained two Canadians and later formally charged them with espionage. Canada says the arrest of the two men was arbitrary. China has already blocked imports of Canadian canola seed.
In its statement on Tuesday, the Chinese Embassy did not link its call to suspend Canadian meat imports to the Meng case.
China’s suspension threatens to upend meat trade flows at a time when African swine fever is already disrupting markets across the globe. Meanwhile, Canada said it’s investigating the pork cargo, which came attached with counterfeit health certificates.
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