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.

Also Read | EXPLAINER: Why Pelosi went to Taiwan, and why China’s angry

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.

Also Read | China to conduct missile, military drills around Taiwan after Nancy Pelosi’s visit

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.