Canadian meat exports depend on Meng's case: analysts

By Song Lin and Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/7 0:03:39

Huawei's chief financial officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou. Photo: VCG

China on Wednesday sought to keep pressure on Canada, blaming Ottawa for "difficulties" in bilateral relations and demanding the immediate release of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, even after Beijing resumes imports of Canadian beef and pork.

Geng Shuang, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a press briefing that after assessing Canada's plan to rectify health issues with meat exports to China, Chinese authorities agreed to accept Canada's certificates, effectively lifting a ban on Canadian beef and pork imports.

Geng's comments confirmed an earlier announcement made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who appeared to be eager in announcing that Canada's pork and beef export to China will resume, calling the move "good news for Canadian farmers."

Trudeau has been under heavy fire in Canada, after Canadian farmers have been hit hard by a Chinese ban on meat and agricultural goods, which many in Canada blamed on the souring bilateral relations due to the decision by Canadian authorities to arrest Meng in December 2018 at the request of the US. Meng remains under house arrest, waiting for extradition hearing.

However, it might be too premature for Trudeau to celebrate, as tensions are likely to linger as long as Meng remains under arrest. Even the resumption of the meat import will not be guaranteed for the long term, as Geng urged the Canadian side to "thoroughly uphold its responsibility in ensuring the safety of meat export to China to guarantee smooth trade."

Chinese analysts suggested that the future of Canadian meat export to China might be depend on Meng's case, as it still casts a cloud over bilateral ties. 

"Any more meat shipments may depend on Meng's case, which has cast a shadow over China-Canada ties," Jiao Shanwei, editor-in-chief of grain news website, told the Global Times.

Some foreign media rushed to describe the resumption of Canadian beef and pork to China as a sign of thawing relations, but Geng suggested that Canadian officials must correct its mistakes as it did with meat export to improve ties.

"On the question of meat export to China, Canada was able to correct its mistakes. China praises Canada for that; but on China-Canada relations, I have to say again that China-Canada relations are encountering some difficulties. And the responsibility does not lie with China," Geng said.

The spokesperson further called Canada to take China's concerns "seriously" and release Meng "immediately" to bring bilateral relations back on track with "concrete actions."

Some Chinese analysts suggested that Trudeau, who has just been re-elected, might work to improve ties with China in his second term, as he promised to boost Canada's economy.

"Despite pressure from the US, Trudeau prefers more to be a middle power. The collective memory of both Chinese and Canadians is very positive, laying foundation for the two countries' relationship that has at times been rocky," an analyst in Beijing, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Global Times.

"I believe China will show goodwill if the Canadian government continues to make the right choice," the analyst said. 


blog comments powered by Disqus