TAIPEI/BEIJING — Taiwan threatened to take China to the World Commerce Group (WTO) on Sunday after Beijing mentioned it will droop sugar apple and wax apple imports from the island on pest issues, within the newest spat between the 2 over fruit.
Relations between Taipei and Beijing, which claims democratically dominated Taiwan as its personal territory, are at their lowest in many years, with China rising political and army stress to get the island to just accept its sovereignty.
China’s customs administration mentioned it had repeatedly detected pests known as Planococcus minor in sugar apples, also referred to as sweetsops or custard apples, and wax apples from Taiwan. It requested its Guangdong department and all instantly affiliated places of work to cease customs clearance of these merchandise from Monday.
Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung mentioned China had behaved unilaterally with out offering scientific proof, and criticized the announcement for coming in the course of the conventional Mid-Autumn Pageant, celebrated by Taiwan and China.
“We can’t settle for this,” Mr. Chen informed reporters in Taipei concerning the choice, which he mentioned his workplace had solely obtained at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
Taiwan has informed China it should take the nation to the WTO beneath the physique’s dispute decision mechanism if Beijing doesn’t reply to Taipei’s request to resolve the difficulty beneath their current bilateral framework earlier than Sept. 30, he added.
Taiwan Overseas Minister Joseph Wu tweeted that, following its army threats, China was now “weaponizing commerce” and the transfer ought to solid doubt over its software final week to affix the Complete and Progressive Settlement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free commerce group.
“China needs to affix the high-standard CPTPP? Is that this a joke?” Mr. Wu mentioned.
Sugar apples and wax apples are Taiwan specialties, though most are consumed domestically. The island can be identified for its mangoes.
That is the second time this yr China has stopped fruit imports from Taiwan.
In February, China banned imports of pineapples from Taiwan, citing “dangerous creatures” that would include the fruit. Taiwan had mentioned there was nothing fallacious with the pineapples and accused Beijing of enjoying politics. — Reuters