China hits Taiwan with trade restrictions over Pelosi’s visit, Taiwan says it ‘will not back down’

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has raised a number of stark warnings from China, which has warned that the action is a major provocation.
In response to Ms Pelosi’s visit, China announced trade sanctions, and imposed restrictions on the import of fruit and fish from Taiwan. It also stopped shipments of sand to the island.

The trip by Pelosi, the second in line for the presidency and the high-ranking US official-elect to visit Taiwan for 25 years, ignited a diplomatic storm.

It landed late Tuesday in the wake of increasingly stern warnings from China, which considers the island part of its territory one day to be retaken by force if necessary.

Analysts believe more trade turmoil is coming

China’s customs administration said on Wednesday it will suspend some citrus imports from Taiwan due to the alleged “frequent” detection of excessive pesticide residues and fish imports due to positive coronavirus tests on packages.
The Ministry of Commerce, in a separate notice, added that it would also suspend the “export of natural sand to Taiwan” from Wednesday, without providing details.

Natural sand is generally used to produce concrete and asphalt, and most of the sand and gravel imported from Taiwan come from China.

These moves are part of a “common pattern for Beijing,” said Even Bey, an agricultural analyst at consultancy Trivium China.
It added that further disruptions to agricultural and food trade are expected in the coming days.
“When diplomatic or trade tensions escalate, Chinese regulators usually take a very tough approach to compliance … and look for any issues that can be used to justify a trade ban,” she told AFP.
Official data show that China is Taiwan’s largest trading partner and export market, with bilateral trade growing 26 percent year on year to $328 billion in 2021.
This is not the first time that Beijing has targeted the island’s exports.

China banned the import of pineapples in March 2021, citing the discovery of pests, in a move that was widely seen as politically motivated.

China has announced that military exercises will be within 20 km of Taiwan’s coastline

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities also announced a planned live-fire military exercise encircling Taiwan, in a move Taipei’s Defense Ministry said threatens major ports and urban areas.

At some points, China’s area of ​​operations will be within 20 kilometers of Taiwan’s coastline, according to the coordinates shared by the People’s Liberation Army.

Taiwan’s 23 million people have long lived with the prospect of an invasion, but that threat has intensified under President Xi Jinping, China’s most assertive leader in a generation.

Beijing has stepped up pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016, as the island is considered a de facto sovereign state and not part of “one China”.

Taiwan will not back down

Taiwan’s president took a defiant tone, saying there would be no “retreat”.
“In the face of deliberately increasing military threats, Taiwan will not back down. We will continue…to maintain the line of defense of democracy,” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said at an event with Ms. Pelosi in Taipei.
She also thanked Ms. Pelosi for “taking concrete actions to show your strong support for Taiwan at this critical moment.”

“Today, our delegation…came to Taiwan to make it unequivocally clear that we will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan,” she said at the event with Ms. Tsai.

Earlier, Ms Pelosi said her group came “in friendship to Taiwan” and “at peace in the region.”
China tries to keep Taiwan isolated on the world stage and opposes countries that have official exchanges with Taipei.
The administration of President Joe Biden said in the run-up to the visit that US policy toward Taiwan remained unchanged.
This meant supporting its government while diplomatically recognizing Beijing over Taipei, and opposing a formal declaration of independence by Taiwan or a Chinese takeover by force.

While the White House is understood to oppose Ms Pelosi’s position on Taiwan, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said she has the right to go wherever she wants.

Australia joins other nations urging de-escalation

Japan, a key US ally in the region, said on Wednesday it had expressed concerns to China about the exercises, while South Korea called for dialogue to maintain regional peace and stability.
Both countries are on Ms Pelosi’s Asia itinerary, after stops in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said it was important to avoid any possibility of military conflict.

“All parties should consider how best they can contribute to easing the current tensions, and we all want peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” she told ABC Radio on Wednesday.

“We have a situation where we see an escalation of rhetoric and we see the deployment of military equipment.”
Ms. Wong reiterated Australia’s support for the one-China policy, where Taiwan is not recognized as a country and the government in Beijing is the only Chinese government.
“Australia has a bipartisan policy on one China, and we have a bipartisan side in that, which is to discourage unilateral changes to the status quo,” she said.

“We must continue with others in the region to urge the preservation of peace and stability in the region,” he added.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.