The approval gives Ireland access to the world's fastest growing beef market and second largest importer for the first time.
Michael Creed says after years of hard work, the Chinese authorities are ready to accept Irish meat supplies.
'Opening and developing new markets is also a key part of our response to the uncertainties arising from Brexit'.
In January, China said it would lift its ban on British beef but farmers may have to wait years before receiving regulatory approval from Beijing; it took three years from lifting the ban on Irish beef for China to approve imports.
Although annual per capita beef consumption in China is now 4-6kg, compared to 19kg in Ireland.
Creed said agri-food exports to China increased roughly five-fold from around €200 million in 2010 to almost €1 billion a year ago.
"For beef, the door has now been opened and there is a real opportunity for the industry to build on this", said Mr Creed, who is travelling with a trade mission to the massive SIAL food exhibition in Shanghai next month.
Meat Industry Ireland (MII), which represents the country's valuable processing industry, described it as an "important breakthrough" after years of intensive efforts.
Irish Farmers" Association president Joe Healy also welcomed the news but said it is key that the agreement delivers higher margins to farmers and that terms and conditions attached to market access are not "overly stringent'. On average Chinese beef consumption per capita is 4kg, compared to average Irish consumption of 19kg of beef per person per year. However, despite increases in domestic beef production in China, consumer demand for premium imported beef is forecast to rise significantly, driven by increasing urbanisation, higher disposable incomes and health awareness.
"I understand that the Chinese authorities will list a number of our beef establishments within the next few days", Creed said this morning in a statement.
The minister was confident that this development would prove beneficial and he was excited about the prospects it offered to the Irish beef sector.
The department will complete the final technicalities to allow trade to commence in the coming weeks.