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article imageChina — Fear of harmful organisms behind ban on Canadian canola

By Karen Graham     Mar 6, 2019 in World
Ottawa - China said Wednesday that it is blocking some imports of the agricultural product canola from Canada because of fears of insect infestation.
China's latest move comes while tensions between China and Canada are escalating due to trade and telecom differences that have ensnared the chief financial officer of China's biggest smartphone maker, Huawei Technologies Ltd, who faces U.S. criminal charges.
On Wednesday, in a daily news briefing, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China had suspended canola imports from a Canadian company “in accordance with laws and regulations and international practice."
Citing “harmful organisms,” which he did not identify further, Lu Kang said China’s government “needs to protect the health and safety of its own people.”
"I can tell you responsibly that the Chinese government's decision is definitely well-founded," Lu said, reports CTV News Canada. "Upon verification, China customs has recently detected dangerous pests in canola imported from Canada many times."
Winnipeg-based Richardson International confirmed on Tuesday that China had revoked its permit to export canola there. Many people are still saying China's move is in retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei.
Beijing views the exiled Dalai Lama as a separatist bent on breaking apart China
Beijing views the exiled Dalai Lama as a separatist bent on breaking apart China
It's all about retaliation
Canadian Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a statement that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has conducted investigations after China issued notices of non-compliance on canola seed imports, including nine since January. The agency has not found any pests or bacteria of concern.
There have been a lot of instances where the Chinese government has used vague and unfounded reasons for halting a trade agreement - simply in retaliation over international incidents.
Not too long ago, South Korean retailer Lotte sold land to the Seoul government for a U.S. anti-missile system. Beijing disapproved of the sale, and authorities closed most of the company’s 99 supermarkets and other outlets in China, often citing safety violations.
China also suspended a trade deal with Norway, restricting imports of Norwegian salmon after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Chinese political prisoner Liu Xiaobo in 2010. Britain and several other countries met with retaliation from Beijing after meetings with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who Beijing claims is a dangerous separatist.
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