China removes 13-year-old ban on some US beef products

Beijing, (AFP) China has removed an almost 13-year-old ban on some US beef products, its quality inspection regulator said today.

A ban on imports of "American bone-in beef and boneless beef for cattle under 30 months" has been lifted immediately, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said, according to a document posted on its official website.

The Asian giant stopped most beef imports from the US over a decade ago after mad cow disease was found in Washington
state in December 2003.

China is already the world's largest consumer of pork, and demand for beef is surging as its burgeoning middle class adds more meat to its diet.

Speaking with US business groups in New York on Tuesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had implied that the ban would soon
be lifted, the Wall Street Journal reported, saying: "We also recognise that the United States has very good beef, so why
should we deny Chinese customers this choice?"