Thursday, January 27, 2022

Taiwan threatens to take China to World Trade Organization in new dispute over fruits

TAIPEI/BEIJING — Taiwan threatened to take China to the World Trade Organization on Sunday after Beijing said it would suspend imports of Chinese apples and wax apples from the island over pest concerns, in the latest dispute between the two fruits. Will give

Relations between Taipei and Beijing, which claims democratically governed Taiwan as its territory, are at their lowest level in decades, with China seeking to get the island to acknowledge its sovereignty. increasing political and military pressure.

China’s customs administration said it has repeatedly detected pests called “Planococcus minor” in Chinese apples, also known as sweet or custard apples, and wax apples from Taiwan. It asked its Guangdong branch and all directly affiliated offices to stop customs clearance of those products from Monday.

Taiwan’s Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung said China behaved unilaterally without providing scientific evidence, and criticized the announcement to come during the traditional Mid-Autumn festival celebrated by Taiwan and China.

“We can’t accept that,” Chen told reporters in Taipei about the decision, which he said his office had received at 9 a.m. (0100 GMT) on Sunday.

He said Taiwan has told China that if Beijing does not respond to Taipei’s request to resolve the issue under its current bilateral framework before September 30, it will send the country to the World Trade Organization under the body’s dispute resolution mechanism. will take in

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu tweeted that, following its military threats, China is now “weaponizing trade” and in the move to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade grouping His application should have raised doubts last week.

“China Wants to Join the High-Standard CPTPP? Is It a Joke?” Wu said.

Chinese apples and wax apples are specialties of Taiwan, although most are consumed domestically. The island is also known for its mangoes.

This is the second time this year that China has stopped importing fruits from Taiwan.

In February, China banned the import of pineapples from Taiwan, citing “harmful organisms” that can come with the fruit. Taiwan had said there was nothing wrong with the pineapple and accused Beijing of playing politics.

by Min Zhang, Tony Munro and Ben Blanchard

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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