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OTTAWA, June 26 (Reuters) - The Canadian government does not know whether shipments of meat that sparked a temporary Chinese import ban actually come from Canada, Trade Minister Jim Carr said on Wednesday.
"We don't know where the product originated," he told reporters in Toronto. China said on Tuesday it wanted Ottawa to stop allowing meat shipments after bogus export certificates were discovered.
An investigation into the matter is ongoing. "Someone is going to have to come up with some proof that there is something wrong with the product," Carr said.
Relations between China and Canada nosedived in December after Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co, was detained in Vancouver on a U.S. arrest warrant. She denies any wrongdoing and Beijing is demanding her return.
Shortly after Meng's arrest, China detained two Canadians, who have since been charged with espionage. Beijing has also halted Canadian exports of canola seed.
"No one is looking to escalate or exacerbate tensions," Carr said when asked about the ongoing bilateral dispute.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves Wednesday morning for the Group of 20 leaders meeting in Japan. U.S. President Donald Trump last week told Trudeau he was prepared to raise the case of the two detained Canadians with Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom he is to meet with on Saturday at the G20 meeting. (Reporting by Kelsey Johnson and David Ljunggren Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Phil Berlowitz)