China to halt all meat imports from Canada – media report

OTTAWA, June 25 (Reuters) – China will turn away any “meat products” shipped from Canada starting on Wednesday, according to a report in Le Journal de Montreal, citing an official in the office of the Chinese consulate general in Montreal.

The justification for the total block is that China said it had found a number of fake veterinary health certificates for meat products imported from Canada because of poor supervision, the newspaper said.

According to Le Journal de Montreal, Chinese diplomats said they hope Canada will take the necessary steps to “reduce the negative impact on the reputation of its products in order to restore the confidence of Chinese consumers.”

The Chinese consul’s office in Montreal could not be immediately reached for comment. The spokeswoman for Canadian Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said she would comment shortly.

China bought C$310 million worth of Canadian pork from January through April, making it Canada’s third-largest export market by value, according to official data.

Relations between China and Canada nosedived in December after Vancouver police detained Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., on a U.S. arrest warrant. She denies any wrongdoing and Beijing is demanding her return.

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 also blocked imports of Canadian canola seed.

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