Scott Thompson: China moves on beef and pork, but not on the two detained Michaels

Click to play video 'China lifting meat ban ‘a good first step’ for canola: producers association' China lifting meat ban ‘a good first step’ for canola: producers association
WATCH: While pork and beef exports to China can resume, Canadian canola producers are still blocked from sending seed to the country. Ryan Kessler reports.

After a four-month ban, China has announced it will once again be accepting Canadian beef and pork products into the country.

This is great news for Canadian farmers, especially pork farmers, since China is the second-largest market for their pork.

The Chinese said the ban was due to trace amounts of a feed additive not allowed in China.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said the documents involving the case were false and the product in question didn’t even come from Canada.

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Nevertheless, out of nowhere, China has changed its stance and Canadian meat will now make its way to the communist country.

In all of the celebrations, including a tweet from the prime minister, there has been little mention of the two Michaels still detained in a Chinese jail, enduring conditions unimaginable here.

READ MORE: China is lifting its ban on Canadian pork, beef exports: Trudeau

Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were detained in China after the CFO of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver on an international extradition warrant.

She was wanted in the United States, where she is under investigation for corporate espionage and questionable business dealings with Iran.

While the Huawei CFO is out on bail enjoying her Vancouver mansions, the two Michaels haven’t seen a lawyer and have very limited access to consular services.

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So why is China now granting permission for Canadians farmers to ship their meat products there?

Was it due to diplomacy? Some sort of agreement? Our new ambassador to China? Was it due to a meeting of common ground on the human rights issue mentioned?

No, not at all.

China simply wants our pork, and wants it bad.

READ MORE: China lifting meat ban ‘a good first step’ for canola: producers association

China’s pig population is currently in the midst of a deadly swine fever epidemic, with over 1.2 million pigs — that we know of — having been destroyed.

This is not about a meeting of the minds and resolve. This is about food security.

Pork is a staple of the Chinese diet and a shortage, especially during upcoming New Year celebrations, could be interpreted as a sign that the country’s government cannot provide for its people.

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New ambassadors could help Canada-China relations

So pork and beef are a go.  No such luck for canola, which has also been similarly banned in China.

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So what’s great news for Canadian meat farmers means nothing to the rest — including the two Michaels.

The only thing that seems predictable in this whole fiasco is that with now China back online, expect to pay more for bacon until the supply chains are fully replenished.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.​​​​