The solidarity between China and Canada seems to be on a positive roll since the start of the Coronavirus crisis. China has changed its trade policy in relation to goods imported and exported to Canada. On April 1, 2020, it was rumoured that China has agreed to allow imports of Canadian canola to start again, lifting a ban in place since March 2019 that had halted $2 billion worth of trade. While trade will improve which is better for jobs, there is a crack in the better relations because of a reported ban on ‘non-essential items,’ like toilet paper being sent to Canada.
The agreement was reportedly reached during a call held by China’s customs administration and Canada’s Agriculture ministry on Tuesday. At the same time, China will be banning the export of toilet paper to Canada. China and Canada have had a rocky diplomatic relationship with the detention of Meng WanZhou, an executive of Huawei and the daughter of a high official of the Chinese Communist Party. Sources in the CCP say they are turning up the pressure on the Canadian government to get a deal done and release Meng Wenzhou. ‘This policy change will help with the flow of relations and perhaps help Canada understand what we need to become regular’ said the source.
While China has begun sending medical equipment to Canada in the past week to help with the Covid-19 Coronavirus, on the dark side Canada should start to see even greater shortages of toilet paper. The Canadian Ministry of Health encourages Canadians to continue washing their hands even more if the lack of toilet paper becomes acute. They also asked Canadians to not start more panic buying of toilet paper because the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is ready to intervene and use stockpiled military supplies found in government warehouses for emergencies.
‘While the quality and softness of the military toilet paper supply is not to usual Canadian needs, it will do the job and allow Canadians to have a greater appreciation of the sacrifices Canadian military personnel make on a daily basis when serving’ said a public affairs officer of the CAF.
China’s General Administration of Customs could not be reached for comment due to it being after office hours. The office of Canadian Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The move to allow imports to resume comes as China’s oilseed processors struggle with the lowest soybean stocks since at least 2010, and as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts the global supply chain of farm produce.
Canola, like soybeans, is crushed into protein-rich meal for animal feed and Canada is the world’s top supplier.