Taiwan will file an official complaint with the World Trade Organization against China’s suspension of fruit imports from the autonomous island due to pest concerns, a senior official said on Thursday.
Regarding the mainland’s ban on both kinds of apples in an apparent attempt to squeeze Taiwan’s economy, Deputy Agriculture Minister Chen Junne-jih told reporters that the island would take the matter to the government. WTO sanitary and phytosanitary committee in October if China refused to negotiate.
File photo showing Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (2nd from right) visiting a pineapple plantation in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, in February 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office) (Kyodo)
Chen said Taiwan has asked China to provide scientific evidence for the discovery of the parasites, adding that the government still hopes to resolve the issue through negotiations.
The move came after China announced it was suspending imports of cream apples and wax apples from Taiwan from September 20, saying mealybugs were found in shipments of the fruits to several times this year, without providing further details.
Before the ban on the two fruits, pineapple imports from Taiwan had been suspended since March. The continent was the biggest consumer before the ban.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Taiwan Affairs Bureau reporting to the State Council on Wednesday said authorities of the ruling Progressive Democratic Party on the island should resolve the pest problem at its source, urging them to “stop to engage in political manipulation “.
Due to the suspension of imports by Beijing, pineapple exports from Taiwan to countries other than China increased by 560% between January and August compared to the same period last year, according to the Council of the ‘Agriculture.