Canada should take pragmatic measures to correct its mistake: FM

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/27 20:18:40

Canada should move to correct its mistake: FM

A canola crop used for making cooking oil sits in full bloom on the Canadian prairies near Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada. File photo: VCG

China's move to suspend the license of a second major Canadian canola exporter is a normal quarantine measure that conforms to both Chinese laws and international practice, Geng Shuang, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a routine press conference on Wednesday.

China expanded its ban on Canadian canola seed imports on Tuesday to include shipments from Viterra Inc. The ban on Viterra was announced by China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) on its website on Tuesday. 

GAC said that the ports of Dalian in Northeast China's Liaoning Province and Nanning in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region had once again detected several pests such as leptosphaeria maculans in canola shipped by Viterra.

The move also came amid a tense relationship between China and Canada due to Canada's arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on behalf of the US and its decision to commence her extradition.

Experts warned that although there is no direct sign showing that the ban on canola imports has a connection with Meng's case, a deteriorating bilateral relationship might lead to conflicts extending into other sectors, including energy, agriculture, tourism and bilateral investment. 

Commenting on the bilateral relationship, Geng said that "We hope that the Canadian side could work with China to ensure the healthy and stable development of China-Canada relations."

"In this regard, the Canadian side should take 'pragmatic measures' to correct the previous mistake it has made," said Geng. 

Wang Jun, a deputy director of the Department of Information at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told the Global Times that "to properly address Meng's issue is the only way out for Canada."

"The country should balance whether it wants to restore trade relations with China," Wang said, adding that it's highly possible that the two countries' trade relations would further deteriorate.

Previously, China canceled Canadian farming company Richardson International's registration to ship canola to China after customs detected "intercepted quarantine hazardous organisms" in imported Canadian canola on numerous occasions. 

The Canadian government is considering sending a high-level delegation to China in an effort to end bans on canola imports from two major Canadian agribusinesses, reported CBC on Wednesday, citing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

China accounts for about 40 percent of Canada's canola seed, oil and meal exports, according to the Canola Council, with seed exports to China worth some C$2.7 billion ($2 billion) a year, according to Reuters.

In a statement Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada(AAFC) sent to the Global Times on Wednesday, the agency said "We take this issue very seriously and are working hard to resolve the disruption of our canola trade with China and we are working through all available channels in China and here in Canada to find a science-based solution."

Newspaper headline: Canada should move to correct its mistake: FM

Posted in: ECONOMY

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