China relaxes its restrictions on pork exports from Europe

Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua.Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua.

Despite the fact that China had been reluctant to open its borders to pork exports from countries that had declared outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF), the Asian country and France have signed an agreement that will allow exports of products pigs to China from French ASF-free zones, in the event of a case of swine fever, according to the zoning principle.

This agreement has its origin in the visit to China in November 2019 of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, who agreed with the president of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, that work would be done with a view to China recognizing the conditions of application in France of the zoning principle, in the event that a case of African swine fever is declared on French territory.

For almost two years, the French authorities and the two Chinese ministries in charge of customs and agriculture, respectively, held numerous exchanges to draw up a memorandum of understanding. Now, in the framework of the high-level economic and financial dialogue between Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery, and Hu Chunhua, Chinese Vice Premier, the agreement on the recognition of zoning and compartmentalization for the benefit of France was signed by the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Julien Denormandie, and the Chinese ministers concerned.

Satisfaction with the agreement

"We have been fighting for months with the President of the Republic and the Minister of Agriculture to reach an agreement on the zoning of the pig sector. We have achieved it. This agreement ensures the exports of our pig producers. It is, therefore, a decisive guarantee for prices and for the prosperity of our farmers," said Bruno Le Maire.

"This agreement is the first of its kind signed by China for the benefit of a European Union country. In this sense, it is exemplary and a precursor to other agreements that will come with other sectors and other countries. It illustrates the maturity of the health surveillance system French and makes it possible to ensure early and proactive exits from the French agricultural sector in order to support French agriculture and thus boost farmers' incomes", Julien Denormandie welcomes.

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