China imposes new trade restrictions as a repercussion of Pelosi visit

Policemen look on in front of the US Embassy in Beijing on Wednesday. (Photo: AFP)

In response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit, China imposed import restrictions on Taiwanese fruit and fish on Wednesday and halted sand exports to the island.

The visit of Pelosi, the second-in-line for the presidency and the most prominent elected US politician to visit Taiwan in the past quarter-century, has caused a diplomatic storm.

She arrived in Taiwan late Tuesday in response to China's escalating threats to seize the island by force if necessary, as Beijing views Taiwan as part of its territory.

China's Customs Administration announced on Wednesday that it would suspend imports of some citrus fruits and fish from Taiwan due to the alleged "repeated" finding of excessive pesticide residue and positive coronavirus package testing.

In a separate notice, the Commerce Ministry added that beginning Wednesday, it will also "suspend the export of natural sand to Taiwan" without providing further specifics.

Not for the first time has Beijing targeted Taiwan's exports.

In March 2021, China prohibited pineapple imports from the island, alleging the discovery of pests in a move that was generally perceived as politically motivated.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016, Beijing has increased its pressure on Taiwan, as she regards the island as a de facto autonomous entity that is not part of "one China."

In addition to the most recent prohibitions, Taiwan's Council of Agriculture announced on Tuesday that China had suspended the import of other Taiwanese items, including fishery products, tea, and honey, citing regulatory violations.

Meanwhile, Chinese officials announced live-fire military exercises encircling Taiwan, a move Taipei's defense ministry deemed dangerous to the island's major ports and cities.

According to coordinates supplied by the People's Liberation Army, the zone of Chinese activities will come within 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) of Taiwan's shoreline at various points.

President Xi Jinping, China's most forceful leader in a generation, has exacerbated the potential of an invasion, which has long been a reality for Taiwan's 23 million inhabitants.

Publish : 2022-08-03 14:37:00

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