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Taiwan Raises WTO Complaint against China in Fruit Dispute
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Taiwan Raises WTO Complaint against China in Fruit Dispute


The relationship between China and Taiwan is at its lowest point in decades. Taiwan has filed a complaint against China at a World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting over Beijing's move to block importing two kinds of fruit from the island, according to the council of agriculture. 

Among the fruits in question are sugar apples, also known as sweet shops or custard apples, and wax apples, which are Taiwan specialties unrelated to apples.

In a recent statement, Taiwan's Council of Agriculture claimed that its delegation to the WTO raised "specific trade concerns" against China at a meeting of the committee overseeing compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

China’s Reply

China did not respond to Taiwan's request for bilateral discussions on the issue and dialogue at the meeting, but Taiwan will continue to pursue the matter. There are adequate controls over Taiwan's exports, so it is unnecessary to halt fruit clearance, the government said, adding that China should immediately remove relevant import controls.


In September, China's customs administration stopped clearing the fruit. Many believe China is exerting increasing political and military pressure on the democratically-ruled island to turn it into a puppet state. According to China, Taiwan is its "sacred territory," and the use of force is an option for reunifying it.

Taiwan's specific trade concern is a preliminary step within the WTO's dispute settlement mechanism, though some of these complaints ultimately became formal WTO disputes.

On the Other Hand…Taiwan’s Reply

According to another source, Taiwan's standard pest control strategy is to fumigate and quarantine rather than suspend all products because only a handful are contaminated.  The source explained that China's delegates found pests frequently on neighboring fruit, which posed a threat to its agriculture.

Due to Chinese objections at the WTO, Taiwan cannot participate in many international organizations. An email request for clarification on this matter was not immediately responded to by a WTO spokesperson. An inquiry to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce was also not immediately returned.

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