Forbidden fruit: Taiwan urges people to eat more pineapples after China
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[February 27, 2021]
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan President
Tsai Ing-wen called on people to eat more pineapples to help farmers on
Friday, saying Taiwan had been "ambushed" by a ban on the fruit by
neighbouring long-time rival China which claims the island as its own.
China said on Friday that starting in March it would suspend imports of
pineapples from sub-tropical Taiwan, citing "harmful creatures" it said
could come with the fruit, threatening China's own agriculture.
The move prompted condemnation from Taiwan's ruling party and Tsai said
in a Facebook post that the island's agricultural exports met
"China sent an ambush-like notice, unilaterally suspending the imports
of Taiwan pineapples. This obviously was not a normal trade decision,"
Tsai wrote without elaboration.
"To support the farmers, let's eat pineapples all together!"
Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said on top of
ongoing "military intimidation", Beijing is also using the import ban to
exert economic pressure on Taiwan, which counts China among its top
trading partners despite political tensions.
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Pineapples are planted in a field in Pingtung, Taiwan April 27,
2016. Picture taken April 27, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo
"This is not the first time China has used agricultural exports to
other countries as political threats," the DPP said in a statement.
Beijing, which has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan
under its control, has carried out repeated air missions in the
southwestern corner of Taiwan's air defence identification zone in
Taiwan's air force scrambled for a second straight day last weekend
after a dozen Chinese fighter aircraft and bombers carried out
drills close to Taiwan-controlled islands in the disputed South
Taiwan exported about 46,000 metric tons of pineapples last year,
and more than 90% of them were sold to China, the DPP said.
(Reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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