China bans fruit, seafood shipments from Taiwan: customs

China’s customs authority has suspended around 2,000 food products from Taiwan this week as part of a series of retaliatory measures in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island.

The General Administration of Customs in China said shipments of citrus fruits and seafood from Taiwan to the mainland are banned starting on Wednesday, just hours after Pelosi’s plane landed.

However, China’s Customs said the suspension was due to pests as well as Covid virus detected in previous shipments.

Although food shipments from dozens of countries and regions into China have faced similar suspensions because of pest issues and Covid restrictions this year, the ban on food products from Taiwan was announced at a critical time when tensions across the Taiwan Strait have been flared during Pelosi’s visit.

“The intention is quite obvious,” one trader said regarding the suspension, implying that this is retaliatory measure against the visit instead of a pest-related issue.

This latest round of suspensions against food products from Taiwan covers a wide range of products spanning from edible oils to instant noodles.

China also curbed exports of natural sands to Taiwan on Wednesday, starting immediately, according to the Ministry of Commerce.