China’s trade partners frustrated with frozen food coronavirus tests

China’s trade partners frustrated with frozen food coronavirus tests

Food-producing nations are criticizing China’s stepped-up screening of frozen imported products, which Beijing claims are responsible for spreading coronavirus.

China says it has discovered the virus on packaging from 20 countries, including German pork, Brazilian beef, Argentine beef, and Indian fish; however, foreign officials complain that since Chinese authorities have produced no evidence, it is affecting trade and damaging the reputation of imported food without reason, Reuters reported.

During a World Trade Organization meeting on Nov. 5-6, Canada described China’s testing of frozen foods and rejection of products that had positive nucleic acid tests as “unjustified trade restrictions” and called on Beijing to stop, a Geneva-based trade official briefed on the meeting told Reuters. Backed by the U.S., Britain, Brazil, Australia, and Mexico, Canada argued that China had not provided scientific justification for the measures, the official said.

Washington said on Tuesday (Nov. 17) that it asked Beijing “bilaterally” and at the WTO to make sure its screenings “appropriately assess actual risks, particularly when they unjustifiably restrict trade.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture said, “China’s most recent COVID-19 restrictions on imported food products are not based on science and threaten to disrupt trade.”

China began testing chilled and frozen food imports for coronavirus in June after a cluster of COVID-19 infections were traced back to workers at a wholesale food market in Beijing. The testing campaign was then ramped up after China linked the infection of a Tianjin warehouse worker to frozen German pork last week, according to the Financial Times.

Since then, food packaging from Jining, Xiamen, and Zhengzhou have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus. Cities across China have pledged to ramp up screening and sterilization of imports.

The World Health Organization has said that neither food nor packaging is a known transmission route for the virus, Reuters cited. Nonetheless, China continues to claim that the virus can be contracted from frozen foods and packaging.

There has been growing frustration among trading partners who say China’s increased scrutiny of food imports does not adhere to global norms. Others have complained about a lack of transparency with Chinese officials refusing to share test results with foreign countries.

Germany has questioned Chinese officials claims that frozen pork was the source of infection, with a spokesperson from Germany’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture telling Deutsche Welle that despite transmission being theoretically possible, there remained “no known cases of infection with Sars-Cov-2 through consumption of meat products or contact with contaminated meat products or surfaces.”

On Monday (Nov. 16), New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden also questioned China’s claims, after coronavirus was detected on frozen New Zealand beef in the city of Jinan. Arden said she was confident New Zealand meat exports were not contaminated with coronavirus but that Chinese authorities had not given more details.

In August, Brazilian officials visited Shenzhen after traces of the virus were found on chicken wings from their country, Reuters said. Chinese authorities were unable to provide information on whether or not they found active virus, the Brazilian agricultural ministry said.

In its responses at the WTO, China said its actions were “provisional based on scientific basis” and designed to “protect people’s lives to the maximum extent,” a Chinese trade official said.

Projected volume of trade turnover between Turkmenistan, US for 2021 named
Projected volume of trade turnover between Turkmenistan, US for 2021 named
Elon Musk to offer $100 million prize for 'best' carbon capture tech
Elon Musk to offer $100 million prize for 'best' carbon capture tech
Kazakhstan boosts petroleum oil exports to Spain despite COVID-19
Kazakhstan boosts petroleum oil exports to Spain despite COVID-19
Loading Bars
Projected volume of trade turnover between Turkmenistan, US for 2021 named
Kazakhstan's monetary base surges in value in Dec. 2020
Uzbekneftegaz manages to reduce imports of materials, technical resources
Elon Musk to offer $100 million prize for 'best' carbon capture tech
Application of TRACECA single transit permit digitalizes transport and logistics sector
Kazakhstan boosts petroleum oil exports to Spain despite COVID-19
Georgia to restore operations of municipal transport, schools and stores
Azerbaijani gymnasts to take part in European Championships in Switzerland
Kazakhstan deregulates tanker call-in services for oil crude, products export
Azerbaijan's energy company building new substation in liberated Shusha (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Regular flights to resume from February 1 in Georgia
PASHA Bank's branch in liberated Shusha to help implement territories' restoration initiatives
Nar offers special discounts for Karabagh war veterans
Austrian Enhanced Resource Company talks about work plans in Azerbaijan for 2021
Azerbaijani banking community eyeing dev't of entrepreneurial ecosystem in liberated territories
German government sees 2021 GDP growth of 3%
Kazatomprom completes COVID-19 testing at its JV with French Orano
Introduction of Euro-5 diesel standard postponed in Georgia
Azerbaijan studying Turkey's experience to create liberal electricity market
Baku Higher Oil School holds discussions on ‘Natural resources of Karabakh’ (PHOTO)
Volume of vegetable oil imported by Turkmenistan from EAEU revealed
Major foreign companies to support logistics and fulfillment center creation in Kazakhstan
Volkswagen operating profit drops by half in 2020
Azerbaijan discloses commercial banks' total share in GDP
Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan co-op development serves economic well-being of region - MP
Georgian government's action plan has direct, clear priorities - PM
Demand for dairy products of EAEU countries increases in Turkmenistan
Cotton fiber production increases in Uzbekistan
All preventive measures to be taken in connection with COVID-19 at Azerbaijani schools
Public Council under Azerbaijani Ministry of Ecology to assess damage in liberated lands
Azerbaijan's PASHA Bank talks government initiatives for restoring liberated territories
Passenger traffic of Georgian airports significantly down
Tutoring activity may be resumed in Azerbaijan soon - minister
Turkmenistan increases import of flour from EAEU
China's CEIC, China Reform set up $1.55 billion new energy fund
Uzbekistan reduces gasoline production
Azerbaijan shows footage from Gargabazar village of Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Greenhouses construction underway at agro-industrial complex in Uzbek Bukhara region
Uzbekistan, Ukraine talk diversification of mutual trade
Uzbekistan’s mining and metallurgical complex eyes increasing its authorized capital
Turkmenistan's fruit imports from EAEU increased
Azerbaijan to continue TV lessons until end of academic year
Minister talks possible date of kindergartens opening in Azerbaijan
Education minister talks epidemiological situation in Azerbaijan
Russia bans import of tomatoes from more Azerbaijani producers
Armenian opposition rallying in front of parliament building
Hungary PM says too early to talk about lifting COVID-19 restrictions
Education in Azerbaijani schools to begin in stages from February 1
Georgia reports 903 new cases of coronavirus for Jan.22
Kazakhstan's Kazakhmys boosts metals output, reveals plans for 2020
UK keeping its borders open for now - environment minister
Issue of banning tomato imports from Azerbaijan to Kazakhstan under review - Azerbaijani FDA
Restrictions imposed by Kazakhstan on import of tomatoes from Azerbaijan - temporary, says Kazakh Ministry
Results of Second Karabakh War hard to accept for Armenia, says Russian expert
Azerbaijan names amount of compensation paid to closed banks' depositors
Kazakhstan boosts 2020 passenger cars manufacturing despite COVID-19
Uzbekistan’s 2020 volume of electricity production up
Georgia reveals data on exports to Russia
Georgian tangerines exports exceed preliminary forecasts
Employee of Azerbaijan's ANAMA hits mine in liberated Jabrayil
Vaccine Maitri: Indian Covishield vaccine consignment reaches Bangladesh
Former Bhutan Prime Minister thanks India for gifting COVID-19 vaccine
PM Modi congratulates US President Joe Biden, says India-US partnership based on shared values
Dostlug field as unique format of co-op in Caspian - another successful strategy of President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijani MP talks rational bases for positive outlook on country's economy for 2021
Scientific experimental station of pistachio growing to be created in Uzbekistan
Turkmengas to buy electrical equipment via tender
Kazakhstan increases imports from Malaysia despite COVID-19
Uzbekistan reports increase in oil production
Geostat reveals volume of Russian exports to Georgia
State Property Service of Azerbaijan to auction small enterprises
Iranian gov't provides data on guaranteed wheat purchases
Prices for Azerbaijani oil slightly decrease
Kazakhstan's coal extracting venture to buy spares via tender
Iran's has low foreign debt ratio - Deputy Minister of Economy
Dostlug field to significantly increase Azerbaijan’s oil sale capacity
UK retail sales make weak recovery in December
Ford to recall 3 million vehicles for air bags at $610 million cost
Georgia shares data on trade turnover with EU countries
Georgian National Bank reveals volume of net profit made by lenders
Uzbekistan’s service sector suffers most amid COVID-19
Bus production significantly decreases in Uzbekistan
Turkmen company shares data on annual production of flour
Friendship wins in Caspian - Azerbaijani President announces innovations in energy sector
Gold price in Azerbaijan declines
Turkmengas opens again tender for maintenance of gas turbine generators
Kazakh Gas Refinery opens tender for spare parts manufacturing
Azerbaijan to launch local remote conference call service
Georgia's Batumi sees decrease in real estate transactions
Uzbekistan’s 2020 gas exports down amid COVID-19
Azerbaijani currency rates for Jan. 22
TAP reinstates olive trees, dry stone walls in Italy
Two options for future dev’t of Dostlug oil & gas field in Caspian
Maldives thanks India for sending a consignment of 100,000 doses of Covershield
Dominica PM writes letter to Narendra Modi, seeks COVID-19 vaccines for citizens
Dostlug project may inspire fresh talks on Trans Caspian pipeline – Rystad Energy
Chevron likely to see its 2020 capex fall by 25%
Uzbekistan reveals COVID-19 data for January 22
Biden’s plan can lead to massive acceleration in investment in renewable power
Iran shares data on imports of basic goods
All news