Friday, September 22, 2023

China suspends import of mangoes from Taiwan after weekend of tensions in Straits

China today announced the suspension of the importation of mangoes from Taiwan for health reasons, after Beijing carried out military maneuvers around the island this Saturday in response to the stopovers last week in the US by Taiwanese Vice President William Lai.

The General Administration of Customs of China suspends from tomorrow the import of the fruit due to the detection of a pest that “poses a serious threat to agricultural and ecological security”reported Zhu Fenglian, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council (Executive), quoted by the local newspaper Global Times.

Zhu explained that the Administration has notified the island of its decision, demanding that taiwan to improve “quarantine and phytosanitary examination measures”, “usual measures to ensure biosecurity” according to Chinese norms and standards.

According to Taiwanese media such as the United Daily News, China could be trying to influence the next Taiwanese presidential electionwhich will be held next January, with its ban on the importation of mangoes, which are grown mainly in the south of the island, an area whose inhabitants tend to vote mostly for the ruling and pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party.

Last August, China imposed trade sanctions on Taiwan by banning the import of citrus fruits, frozen bamboo shoots and two types of fish for pest detection a day after then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taipei for a visit that angered Beijing.

The Chinese military carried out air and sea military exercises around Taiwan on Saturday, in response to recent stops in the United States by Taiwanese Vice President, william laiwhom he accused of “seeking US support for the independence of Taiwan.”

Lai (also known as Lai Ching-te), returned to Taipei on Friday after visiting Paraguayan -one of the 13 countries that maintain official ties with Taiwan and the only one in South America- and make two stops in the United States on their way to and from the South American country.

He Ministry of Defence from Taiwan He expressed his “strong condemnation” of the maneuvers and described them as an “irrational provocation.”

China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, a territory it considers a “rebel province” since Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949 after losing the war against the communist army.

China lowers its benchmark interest rate to 3.45%, a smaller cut than expected


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