Following the most recent Chinese import curbs, Taiwan is considering filing a WTO challenge.
Premier Su Tseng-chang warned on Saturday that Taiwan may take China to the World Trade Organization after Beijing effectively barred the import of more Taiwanese food and drink items. Beijing had accused Taipei of “political manipulation” at the time.
Since the previous two years, Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has complained about Chinese import restrictions on a variety of agricultural and aquatic products, including pineapples and grouper fish, alleging that these restrictions are the result of Chinese pressure tactics.
More fisheries items, including squid, as well as several beers and alcoholic beverages are now subject to prohibitions, which China claims are the result of Taiwanese businesses’ improper completion of necessary documentation.
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Speaking to reporters, Su claimed that China was violating WTO rules by using administrative tools to “interfere” with regular trade.
He added that the administration would try its utmost to discuss the situation with the appropriate Chinese agencies.
“We will also use the appropriate channels to file a complaint if there is any non-compliance with the applicable WTO regulations,” the statement continued.
China and Taiwan are both WTO participants.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement late on Friday that the issue was an administrative one caused by the affected enterprises’ improper registration and that this was a “typical food safety inspection measure.”
It expressed the hope that Taiwanese businesses would provide regulatory-compliant data as soon as possible.
“At the same time, we are instructing the relevant island departments to immediately cease any political manipulation and not to take any foolish actions that affect island businesses.”
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Although farming and fishing are not significant parts of Taiwan’s semiconductor-focused economy, they are concentrated in southern Taiwan and other regions of the island that have historically supported the Democratic Progressive Party, which is currently in power.