China has initiated full-fledged isolation tactics against Taiwan amid House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to the self-governed island nation, including an attack on the economy.
Taiwan’s big corporations are crying foul over sudden import bans after at least 2000 out of 3200 Taiwanese food product imports were suspended. A statement issued by the General Administration of Customs said it was banning the “import of citrus fruits, chilled white hairtail, and frozen horse mackerel,” beginning Thursday.
The official reason for the bans is stated as concerns about pests and chemical residue, as done in the past. However, Taiwan believes these sudden moves are politically motivated.
Additionally, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced stopping the export of natural sand Wednesday. It is an essential raw material that Taiwan needs for various construction projects as well as the production of silicon wafers, which is its key manufacturing sector.
But this is not China’s first time banning sand export to the island, and the move isn’t expected to cause a major impact.
The latest bans come on the heels of import suspensions of processed food items from Monday night. The official reason on China’s General Administration of Customs appears to be related to the companies’ non-compliance with a new customs registration system introduced last year.
However, 35 of the 107 companies that sell “crackers, pastries, and noodles” are facing suspensions despite updated registrations. China has previously suspended the import of grouper fish, wax apples and pineapples from Taiwan, expressing concerns about pests, which Taiwan strongly denied.
The Council of Agriculture (COA) issued a statement Tuesday saying they were working on determining the extent of the ban and promised necessary assistance to affected companies.
Taiwan’s processed foods exports to China and Hong Kong totaled $646.21 million last year. The country’s total imports to China in 2021 totaled a record $189 billion.
Apart from economic warfare, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted military exercises and training activities including live-fire drills in six zones surrounding Taiwan, reported Xinhua News Agency. The outlet has published coordinates where the attacks are scheduled.
“For safety reasons, relevant ships and aircraft should not enter the above sea areas and airspaces during this period,” the publication added. One of these areas under PLA’s scheduled attack appears to be within a 12-mile radius of Kaohsiung, the island’s harbor capital, Straitstimes reported.