China informed Taiwan on Sunday of its decision to halt imports of wax and custard apples from the democratically-ruled island, saying the ban would take effect from Monday. Taiwan described the move as a “hostile act”.
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on Twitter that, after a series of military threats, China was weaponizing trade, and that “the sanctions violate international trade norms.”
China has recently hardened its stance towards Taiwan. Despite Taiwan being a de facto independent country with its own military, democratically elected government and constitution, the Chinese government claims the self-governing island as its own.
Chinese customs said in a statement that it detected pests known as Planococcus minor – commonly known as citrus mealybug – in imported Taiwanese custard and wax apples.
Taiwanese officials pressured Beijing to confirm the ban with scientific evidence. If China does not respond to a proposal under the current bilateral framework by September 30, Taiwan will report the dispute to the World Trade Organization, it said.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen condemned the move on Facebook on Sunday, pledging to help and protect farmers in the face of “unfair market interference”.
Taiwan’s government has allocated about $36 million to promote the sale of the fruit in domestic and overseas markets.
China suspended pineapple imports from Taiwan in February for similar reasons. Taiwan’s pineapple exports to Japan have increased more than eightfold since that ban.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times