The Canadian Politician (Toronto) – The Chinese authorities today provided an explanation as to why they cancelled the export license of one of Canada’s largest agricultural exporters, Richardson International based in Winnipeg. A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lu Kang, stated that the imports were banned because they were pest infested. He further stated that the government of China has resolved to suspend imports from Richardson International “in accordance with Chinese law and regulations and international practice.” The spokesman cited what he called “harmful organisms” that prompted the Chinese government to act “to protect the health and safety of its own people.
Sensing challenges and skepticism to the decision to ban the Canadian company from exporting canola oil to China, Lu Kang offered some sort of assurance that the decision was not ad hoc rather based on fact. He stated, “I can tell you responsibly that the Chinese government’s decision is definitely well founded. Upon verification, China customs has recently detected dangerous pests in canola imported from Canada.
In spite of the assurances from Lu Kang, many believe, based on Chinese dealings with other countries, that it is yet another tactics devised to gain the upper hand in the on-going diplomatic war over the arrest of Meng Wenzhou, the CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei. Meng was arrested in Vancouver on her way to Mexico and South America on vacation. She is wanted in the U.S. on accusation of circumvention of international sanctions against Iran. Meng denies all charges.
It should be noted however, that the claims made by Kang are not corroborated by the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture which put out a statement via the minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, stating that investigations were carried out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency after China issued notices on the non-compliance of Canadian canola imports. The investigations determined that there were no pests in any of the exported products.
In the meantime, foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland, says Canada is working closely with China to come to a resolution on the issue. She stated, “We are working very, very hard with the Chinese government on this issue.”