Chinese authorities have said they have put in place a ban on pork imports from India, a move that State media has linked to the ongoing border tensions.

A joint notice issued by the General Administration of Customs of China and the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs on Wednesday said China “is set to ban imports of pigs, wild boar and related products from India in an effort to prevent African swine fever (ASF) and ensure the safety of China’s animal husbandry”.

While the official notice from the government made no mention of the ongoing border dispute, the Global Times, a Communist Party-run newspaper, reported that “the ban comes after tensions between the two countries flared up in Galwan Valley region”, which it blamed on “India’s recent, illegal construction of defense facilities on the border to Chinese territory”.

The newspaper said India had reported its first case of ASF in May, and the disease had killed more than 14,000 pigs in the border state of Assam. The newspaper said the disease first broke out in China in August 2018.

On the boundary situation, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday both sides were in communication on resolving the on-going stand-off along the Line of Actual Control. “China’s position on the boundary issue is consistent and clear,” spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. “We have been earnestly implementing the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strictly abiding by the relevant agreements signed by the two countries, and committed to safeguarding China’s territorial sovereignty and security as well as peace and stability in the China-India border areas. At present, the overall situation in the China-India border areas is stable and controllable. On border-related issues, there are sound mechanisms and channels of communication between China and India, and the two sides are capable of properly resolving relevant issues through dialogue and consultation.”

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