Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Chrystia Freeland said she understands the absolute importance of the two countries’ trade relationship, which includes billions of dollars worth of canola shipments.
The countries are locked in a dispute over the amount of foreign material—such as other crops and weeds—found in Canadian canola exports to China.
The Chinese government has given Canada until September 1 to cut the level of foreign material in its deliveries of the crop by more than half.
Freeland is travelling with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his first official visit to China—where he is expected to raise the canola dispute with Chinese leaders.
She said she knows how important oilseed is because she grew up on a canola farm, where her father is preparing for this year’s harvest.
China’s ambassador to Canada, Luo Zhaohui, has said that Canada has been inflexible and unfair in its approach to talks that began about seven years ago over Chinese concerns about rules for the make-up of canola shipments.