China defends food import controls to curb virus

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government is defending anti-coronavirus controls that have disrupted imports of beef, poultry and fish from the United States, New Zealand and other trading partners. Customs officials who say the coronavirus has been found on frozen meat and on packaging have imposed suspensions on suppliers. That prompted complaints by China’s trading partners. A foreign ministry spokesman says the controls are “reasonable and justifiable” and are meant to protect public health. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand expressed confidence this week that her country hasn’t exported meat with the virus after Chinese authorities said it was found on beef and packaging from Bolivia, Brazil and New Zealand.