China bans mangoes, punishes Taiwan for independence

China’s decision to ban import of Mangoes from Taiwan has brought focus on

`ban on fruits’ yet again. This is not first time when China banned items from Taiwan on several grounds in the last few years.The ban follows similar orders by Beijing over the past two years against imports of Taiwanese pineapples, wax apples, citrus fruits and certain types of seafood.. China’s decision has sent shockwaves to the Taiwanese government and exporters.The ban on mangoes is another attempt by China to punish Taiwan for its independence.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office recently announced the banon the ground that citrus mealybugs found in mango imports from Taiwan by customs officers posed a “severe threat” to China’s agricultural and ecological security. ‘Pests’ detected on imports of mangoes from Taiwan could hurt farm production and its ‘ecological safety’.Tests on one of Taiwan’s prized crops enjoyed by mainland Chinese consumers detected a species of mealybug insects, with Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office saying the “pests” could hurt farm production and its “ecological safety”.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Agriculture described it a “one-sided” act. Taiwan has produced more than 170,000 metric tonnes of mangoes this year, with 2.2 per cent for export, the Ministry of Agriculture in Taipei said. The ministry said mainland China had received just 938 metric tonnes of mangoes in 2023.

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, overall export orders to mainland China and Hong Kong declined by just 4.2 per cent last month, year- on-year, less severe than the fall in the first half of 2023.Taiwan’s worldwide export orders, though, fell by 12 per cent last month, year on year, to 47.73 billion US dollars, marking an 11th consecutive monthly decline, according to the South China Morning post.

Taiwan is largely dependent on mango exports. In 2021, mangoes were the third most valuable agricultural export from Taiwan, after pineapples and bananas. Taiwan exported about 100,000 tons of mangoes in 2021, worth about 100 million US dollars. China was the largest importer of Taiwanese mangoes, accounting for about 70% of exports.

The ban on mangoes from China has had a significant impact on the Taiwanese economy. In the first half of 2022, exports of mangoes from Taiwan fell by 70% compared to the same period in 2021. This has led to job losses and financial hardship for farmers and exporters.

The Taiwanese government is trying to find new markets for its mangoes. It has been promoting mangoes in other countries, such as Japan, South Korea, and the United States. However, it is not clear if these markets will be able to absorb the volume of mangoes that Taiwan used to export to China.

As with its precursor bans on pineapples, atemoyas and wax apples, this pretext is absurd. TaipeiAgriculture ministry said it took corrective measures after receiving notice of the alleged issue on June 15 and Aug. 3, even though these were the only two shipments China had complained of out of 5,689. Even if mealybugs were found, two shipments among thousands do not a “severe threat” make — especially after China failed to use WTO-recommended fumigation.

The ministry data showed that 5,600 shipments of mangoes had reached mainland Chinese since 2018. The agriculture ministry regretted the ban and appealed China through bilateral channels to conduct technical dialogue … to find a reasonable solution to resume mango sales as soon as possible.

In fact, China took offence to the stopover to New York by Taiwanese vice- president and leading presidential contender William Lai Ching-te while he was on the way to Paraguay to attend the inauguration of President Santiago Pena. The mainland China imposed temporary anti-dumping measures on imports of polycarbonate products from Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs confirmed its overall export orders to mainland China and Hong Kong have declined by just 4.2 per cent last month, year-on-year, less severe than the fall in the first half of 2023.

Taiwan’s worldwide export orders, though, fell by 12 per cent last month, year on year, to 47.73 billion US dollars, marking an 11th consecutive monthly decline.The long-term impact of the ban on mangoes from Taiwan is uncertain. If the ban is lifted, it could help to boost the Taiwanese economy. However, if the ban remains in place, it could damage the Taiwanese mango industry and lead to further job losses.
The ban has caused some economic and political problems for Taiwan. The ban has led to a drop in mango exports from Taiwan, and it has also damaged relations between the two sides. It remains to be seen how long the ban will last, and what its ultimate impact will be.

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