CHINA TO SUSPEND TAIWAN PINEAPPLE IMPORTS
China said it will suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan, a move the self-ruled island sees as a political retaliation in response to the island's independence-leaning government's refusal to toe Beijing's line.
Kyodo News reported that China's General Administration of Customs announced the suspension of pineapple imports from Taiwan to the mainland starting March 1.
"The mainland's customs has intercepted quarantine pests among pineapples from Taiwan since 2020," spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of China's State Council Ma Xiaoguang said.
Ma added that the decision was a normal biosafety precaution in line with China's laws, regulations and standards.
Describing China's decision as "not very friendly behavior," Presidential Office spokesman Chang Tun-han said on his Facebook page that the government decided to spend NT$1 billion (US$36 million) to offset the impact such as strengthening the promotion of pineapples at home and abroad.
Chien Shu-pei, spokeswoman of President Tsai Ing-wen's independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, described China's decision as "economic coercion" that leads people to question its "political motive."
Expressing regret, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung told an emergency press conference that he found China's "unilateral" decision "surprising" and "unacceptable."
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