China blocks imports of Portuguese lamb and ‘related produce’

On the pretext of advice from the World Health Organisation, China has suddenly blocked all imports of Portuguese lamb, mutton and ‘related produce’.

Lusa confirms that a diplomatic source has stressed ‘negotiations are ongoing’.

The Chinese decision appears to be based on an outbreak of enzootic paraplegia in Guarda. (Enzootic paraplegia is a ‘serious condition’ characterised by lack of coordination leading to general paralysis and death).

However it is unclear whether there really is an outbreak in Guarda.

Say all reports, “Beijing frequently bans food imports as a form of retaliation in diplomatic and commercial disputes”.

Could this be another spin-off to the widening global pressure against Huawei technology? No-one is saying, though the ban comes just as the UK announced it will be stripping Huawei technology from its 5g networks.

Explain reports in the Portuguese media, it was announced in Chinese Global Times, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party.

Says SIC the ban follows similar actions recently over imports of pork (from 14 countries, but not including Portugal) and salmon from Europe.

So far there have been no comments from Portuguese sheep farmers, or the food export sector in general.

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