China Allows Taiwan Grouper Imports

tendata blogTrade Trends News

ten data blog26-12-2023

- Beijing banned imports of the fish last June, saying it had found banned chemicals and high levels of antibiotics in it.

- The mainland-friendly opposition Kuomintang proposed the ban to mainland officials during a visit to the country in February.


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Beijing announced weeks before Taiwan's election that it would allow imports of high-value fish from Taiwan - The main opposition Kuomintang party raised the issue specifically during a visit to mainland China earlier this year.


Starting Friday, the General Administration of Customs will again allow imports of grouper - a high-value aquaculture product from Taiwan - from registered farms in Taiwan, according to a notice posted on the agency's website.


Beijing suspended imports last June, saying it had found excessive levels of banned chemicals and hygromycin, an antibiotic, in the fish, a charge denied by Taiwanese authorities.


Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for the mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office, said the decision was made on the basis of a "comprehensive assessment of the relevant corrective measures", after representatives of Taiwan's industry provided the mainland with information on measures to address the problem and expressed "strong demands". According to the official news agency Xinhua, it is "hoped" that imports will resume.


According to the report, some Taiwanese grouper farmers have registered with mainland customs and can begin exporting immediately.


Beijing's announcement comes just weeks before Taiwan's Jan. 13 presidential election, which will determine the future of cross-strait relations after years of tension during Tsai's presidency of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Taiwan's stage in 2016.


Beijing views an autonomous Taiwan as a breakaway territory that must be reunited with the mainland -- and has never given up on using force to achieve that. Meanwhile, most countries do not officially recognize Taiwan's independence, but many, including the United States, oppose forced changes to the status quo.


During a visit to the mainland in February, one of the KMT's vice-chairmen, Mr. Hsia Li-yin, raised the issues facing Taiwan's food importers, including the grouper ban.


The lifting of the import ban comes after Beijing announced Thursday that it was suspending tariff cuts on 12 Taiwanese products covered by the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement.


The agreement, a landmark trade deal signed in 2010, includes a list of 806 items for which tariff cuts were approved.


Zhu Rongji told Xinhua that "the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are one family" and that as long as there is clear opposition to "Taiwan independence", "family matters can be resolved through discussion."


"We are willing to work together with the relevant parties on the island to continue to provide assistance for the resumption of the export of Taiwan's agricultural and fishery products to the mainland."


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