World Pineapples Are at the Center of Latest China-Taiwan Dispute
Biden's (mostly) straight talk on China
Steady, straight talk from Biden and his team will be an improvement over the hot-and-cold rhetoric from Trump.Biden is trying to balance several competing imperatives: keeping China at bay but still in communication while his team develops its own coherent policy, and distinguishing his strategy from both the Obama and Trump approaches without scrapping the latter's historically important initiatives.
(Bloomberg) -- China surprised Taiwan with a move to block pineapple imports, stepping up economic pressure on President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration as it continues to spar with Beijing.
China will suspend imports of Taiwanese pineapples from March 1 after finding pests in recent shipments, China’s General Administration of Customs said in a statement on Friday. This move was a normal precaution to protect biosecurity and prevent the import of plant diseases, a spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said separately.
Beijing May Have Scuppered Taiwan's Vaccine Roll-Out, Hints Health Minister
Chen Shih-chung said Taipei was on the verge of signing a deal with German vaccine developer BioNTech when the company pulled the plug at the last minute in December.The agreement had reached its final stages and both parties were already reviewing their respective press releases when BioNTech pulled the plug in December, Chen Shih-chung told radio host Clara Chou during an interview for Hit FM.
The move took Taiwan officials by surprise, Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung told reporters in Taipei on Friday. Beijing’s claims were “untrue” and 100% of exported pineapples had passed tougher inspections since last year, he said.
China has a history of using trade to help it achieve its policy goals. It imposed curbs on a string of Australian imports including coal, wine, beef and lobster as relations deteriorated after Canberra barred Huawei Technologies Co. from its 5G network and called for an independent probe into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pineapples are an important source of income for farmers in central and southern Taiwan. Aroundof pineapples harvested in Taiwan are sold overseas, almost entirely to China.
Coronavirus: BioNTech promises to supply its vaccine to Taiwan
© Supplied by Le Point F in controversy? BioNTech said Thursday, February 18, 2021, that it still intends to deliver vaccine doses to Taiwan, following a statement from the island's health minister stating "? Political pressure?" That caused the agreement to fail. In a statement, the German firm said it was still in negotiations with Taiwan to provide it with doses.
While agriculture accounts forof Taiwan’s $710 billion technology-dominated economy, farmers and related sectors remain an important constituency in Taiwanese politics, especially in the south.
China has increasingly stepped up pressure on Tsai, whose party supports independence. Chinese military jets have made almost daily incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in recent months.
China’s Communist Party asserts Taiwan is part of its territory, a claim Taiwan’s government rejects, viewing the islands as a de-facto independent nation.
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China says will deter Taiwan independence but seek peaceful ties .
China says will deter Taiwan independence but seek peaceful tiesChina, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory, has increased its military activity near the island in recent months, responding to what it calls "collusion" between Taipei and Washington, Taiwan's main international backer and arms supplier.