Island nation calls for talks with China

Taiwan Council of Agriculture pledges export market diversity

The amount of fruit exported by Taiwan to Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and the US grew last year, and the island nation now has approval to ship pineapples to Australia. Its government would continue to diversify export markets for Taiwan’s agri products, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday. This announcement came after China stated announced it would suspend imports of pineapples from Taiwan last Friday.

Data shows that since last year, Taiwan has exported 6,200 shipments of pineapples to China, with scale insects having been found in the fruits reported by China only 13 times, and 99.79% of the pineapples sent to China have passed customs tests.

According to taipeitimes.com, some of Taiwan’s farmers have secured halal certification with the council’s assistance, allowing them to export their products to Muslim countries. These measures have not only led to a significant increase in agricultural exports, but have also helped diversify export markets.

The council said that in the past three years, Taiwan exported an average of about 91,000 tons of fruit each year, 80% of which was exported to China. Last year they increased by 68%, 37%, 75% and 210% respectively.

Taiwan calls for talks with China
Taiwan is urging China to hold up the bilateral fruit inspection negotiation system after Beijing arbitrarily banned the pineapple imports. The ban, effective this Monday, was announced allegedly over pest fears. The move has been interpreted as politically motivated and aimed to deal a blow to Taiwanese farmers.

Taiwannews.com.tw says Taiwan has rebutted China’s pest control claims, saying that 99.79 percent of the 6,200 shipments to China since last year have passed inspection criteria. While pests were found in 13 cases, the organisms can be removed using fumigation in compliance with international protocols.

China claims pineapple ban not about politics
Yesterday, China denied accusations by Taiwan that a ban on pineapples from the island was about politics, saying it was purely a matter of biosecurity, in an escalating war of words that has added to existing tensions. China is still citing “harmful creatures” it said could come with the fruit, threatening China’s own agriculture.

Source: reuters.com

 

Photo source: Dreamstime.com


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