Taiwan lodges trade complaint against China at WTO

Taiwan has lodged a trade complaint against China at the World Trade Organization following Beijing’s moves to block imports of two types of fruits.

Taiwan-China relations have dropped to their lowest in decades following increased Chinese belligerence. China as threatened to invade and annex Taiwan, which it claims as a renegade province.

The fruits in question are sugar apples, which are also known as custard apples, and wax apples, both of which are Taiwanese specialities.

In a statement, Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture said, its WTO delegation has raised “specific trade concerns” on the issue against China at the WTO committee that oversees compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

It went on to add, while China has yet to respond to its request for bilateral talks on the issue, Taiwan will continue its efforts.

China’s customs administration stopped clearance of the fruit in September, citing pest concerns.

Beijing is intent on using political and military pressure to get Taiwan to accept its sovereignty.

China has not ruled out the use of force to invade and annex Taiwan.

While the specific trade concern filed by Taiwan at the WTO’s committee is a preliminary step, a portion of the complaint will later become a formal WTO dispute.

At the closed-door meeting Taiwan said, the typical procedure in the event of pests is to fumigate and quarantine rather than ban the import of the product given that only a tiny fraction of it may be infected.

Taiwan is formally known as the “Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu” at the World Trade Organization.

China has blocked it from participating in many international bodies.

China’s Ministry of Commerce did not immediately reply to requests for comments.

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