Following Nancy Pelosi's visit, China slaps new trade restrictions on Taiwan
Following Nancy Pelosi's visit, China slaps new trade restrictions on Taiwan
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Following a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China imposed tariffs on Taiwanese fruit and seafood imports and halted sand shipments to the island on Wednesday.

The visit by Pelosi, the second in line to the presidency and the highest-ranking elected US politician to visit Taiwan in the last 25 years, has sparked a diplomatic tempest.

She arrived in Taiwan late Tuesday, despite China’s increasingly stern threats that the island is part of its sovereignty that must be regained, by force if necessary.

China’s Customs Administration announced on Wednesday that it will suspend select citrus fruits and fish imports from Taiwan due to “repeated” detections of excessive pesticide residue and positive coronavirus testing on packages.

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In a separate notice, the Commerce Ministry stated that it will “halt the export of natural sand to Taiwan” beginning Wednesday.

This is not the first time China has targeted Taiwan’s exports.

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

Since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016, Beijing has increased pressure on Taiwan, claiming that the island is a de facto sovereign nation separate from “one China.”

In addition to the recent prohibitions, Taipei’s Council of Agriculture announced on Tuesday that China has suspended the import of additional Taiwanese items, including fishery products, tea, and honey, citing regulatory violations.

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Meanwhile, Chinese officials revealed planned live-fire military drills encircling Taiwan, which Taipei’s defence ministry warned threatened the island’s critical ports and urban centres.

According to coordinates supplied by the People’s Liberation Army, the zone of Chinese activities will come within 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) of Taiwan’s shoreline at times.

Taiwan’s 23 million people have long faced the fear of invasion, but that threat has grown worse under current President Xi Jinping, China’s most forceful leader in a generation.