China: China announced today the suspension of the import of some types of fruits and fish from Taiwan and the export of natural sand to the island in response to the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei.
Pelosi’s visit, the highest-ranking US official to visit Taipei in 25 years, angered the Chinese authorities, who responded by condemning her arrival and launching military exercises in the waters around Taiwan, which it considers part of China.
On Wednesday, the Chinese Customs Administration decided to suspend the import of citrus fruits and some fish from Taiwan.
She confirmed that she had “repeatedly” detected a type of harmful parasites on citrus fruits and had recorded excessive levels of pesticides. The Ministry of Commerce, for its part, announced that it would “suspend the export of natural sand to Taiwan” as of Wednesday, without giving any explanation.
Usually, natural sand is used to make concrete and asphalt, and Taiwan relies heavily on China for its supply. “It’s a classic Beijing style,” said Even Bay, an agricultural analyst at Trivium China Consulting. “When diplomatic and trade tensions are high, Chinese regulators generally take a very tough stance on compliance with the rules (…) looking for any reason to justify the trade embargo,” she added.
Taiwan’s Agriculture Council said Tuesday that China had invoked regulatory violations to suspend imports of various commodities from the island, such as fish products, tea and honey.
China is Taiwan’s largest trading partner, and trade exchange increased by 26 percent in 2021, reaching $328 billion.