OTTAWA – A report in a Quebec newspaper says China has suspended all Canadian meat exports in a dramatic escalation of its diplomatic dispute with Canada over the December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.
The latest Chinese move comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to depart Wednesday for the G20 leaders’ summit, where he is expected to rely on U.S. President Donald Trump to raise the plight of two detained Canadians during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
A report in the newspaper Journal de Quebec quotes a Montreal-based diplomat with the Chinese consulate-general as saying the ban is temporary.
The diplomat says the move is being taken because about 100 faked veterinary health certificates have been identified on exported meat products.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said:
“The Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA) identified an issue involving inauthentic export certificates that could affect the export of pork and beef products to China. The CFIA has taken measures to address this issue and is continuing to work closely with industry partners and Chinese officials.”
China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor and sentenced another Canadian to death in an apparent attempt to pressure for Meng’s release.