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China’s customs authority has suspended mango imports from Taiwan from Monday, August 21, after detecting pests in the fruit, the latest measures targeting Taiwanese agriculture which Taipei has denounced as being politically motivated.
Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has complained for the past three years of Chinese import bans on various agricultural and aquatic goods, including pineapples and grouper fish, saying they are part of a Chinese pressure campaign.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that the pests, which it named as passionvine mealybug, had been found by customs on imported Taiwanese mangoes starting this year and that it needed to protect its own agriculture.
“The abovementioned measures are normal biosafety precautions, scientific and reasonable, and comply with relevant mainland laws, regulations, and standards,” it said.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Agriculture said it had not received any such complaints from other export destinations.
The ministry “deeply regrets that China has repeatedly violated international practices and arbitrarily interrupted trade without scientific dialogue,” it said in a statement.
The announcement was made a few days after Taiwan Vice President William Lai returned home from brief visits to the United States which infuriated Beijing.
Agriculture is not a major part of Taiwan’s semiconductor-oriented economy but the farming and fishing community is largely based in parts of the island that traditionally support the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, especially in southern Taiwan. – Rappler.com