China resumes beef imports from South Africa ahead of Xi’s visit

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China resumed beef imports from South Africa on August 17, according to an announcement on Thursday from the country’s customs administration.

Chinese customs also said in a separate announcement on Thursday it recognises several regions in South Africa as zones free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) free zones. These are the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and parts of Limpopo, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West, it said.

China banned imports of even-toed ungulate-related products from South Africa in March 2022 due to an outbreak of FMD on a cattle farm in the North West province, according to an announcement by Chinese customs last year.

The resumption comes just ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to South Africa. Xi will attend the BRICS leaders’ meeting and visit the country on August. 21-24, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.