23:05 GMT +322 March 2019
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    A man walks past flags of Canada and China in front of Tiananmen Gate in Beijing (File)

    Beijing Explains What's Behind Ban on Canadian Canola Import

    © AFP 2019 / FREDERIC BROWN
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - The relations between Canada and China remain tense after last December Chinese tech company Huawei's Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver at the United States' request.

    The Chinese ban on Canadian canola is reasonable since it was imposed out of safety concerns when dangerous organisms were detected in the imported product, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Wednesday.

    "I can reliably state that this decision of the Chinese government is absolutely supported by facts. According to my information, Chinese customs has recently detected harmful organisms in canola imported from Canada on numerous occasions. Furthermore, a quarantine issue was particularly acute for one company… This is absolutely logical and legitimate," Lu said at a briefing.

    Earlier this week, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland expressed concern over Chinese customs' decision to revoke Canadian Richardson International Ltd's authorization to supply canola to China, saying there were no grounds for this.

    Canola is a type of rapeseed that is characterized by high nutritional qualities in both oil and meal. Canada is the biggest single canola producer.

    The ban was announced amid the tensions between the countries, connected with the late last year's arrest of Huawei's Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the United States' request. She is reportedly suspected of failing to comply with US sanctions against Iran. The arrest was decried by Beijing, which demanded that Canadian authorities immediately release the Chinese national. Huawei has insisted Meng has done nothing illegal.

    READ MORE: Arrested Huawei CFO Sues Canada Alleging Breach of Constitutional Rights

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    import, Huawei, Chrystia Freeland, China, Canada
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