Beijing refuses Taiwanese fruits over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit
- US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit angered China
- Beijing considers Taiwan to be a part of China
- China has banned import of several Taiwanese products
Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan Tuesday has Beijing angry. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) considers Taiwan a part of China and hopes to reunite it with the mainland one day, even if by force. In such a circumstance, a senior US leader’s visit to the semiconductor capital of the world, the first such visit in quarter of a century, has made Beijing roll out curbs on the import of fruits and fish from Taiwan. Pelosi’s visit has caused a diplomatic firestorm.
The warnings about Pelosi’s visit angering China were there since the visit was announced. Even as the news travelled across the world, Taiwan refused to confirm. A day after Pelosi landed in Beijing, China’s Customs Administration, on Wednesday, announced it would suspend imports of some fruits and fish from Taiwan. The official reason for this, the Chinese government says, is detection of excessive pesticide residue and positive coronavirus tests on packages. However, observers say the decision is political.
China’s Commerce Ministry has also stopped the export of natural sand to Taiwan from Wednesday. Details about the decision are yet to emerge.
This, however, is not the first time that Beijing has tried to hurt Taiwan’s supplies. In March 2021, China banned pineapple imports from Taiwan, citing the discovery of pests. This decision too was seen as political. The Chinese government has sought to mount pressure on Taiwan ever since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen took charge in 2016. Tsai Ing-wen views Taiwan as a de-facto sovereign nation and not a part of China.
Sand and fruits are not the only things at issue. According to Taipei’s Council of Agriculture, China has suspended import of several other Taiwanese products, including fishery products, tea and honey. Beijing has cited regulatory breaches to justify its decision.
Beijing has also announced military drills encircling Taiwan, in a move, which according to Taiwan’s defence ministry, threatens the islands key ports and cities. Pelosi left Taiwan after completing her one-day visit on Wednesday.