China hits Taiwan with trade restrictions over Pelosi visit as Taiwan says it will ‘not back down’

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan prompted a series of strong warnings from China, which warned that the act was a major provocation.
In response to Ms. Pelosi’s visit, China announced trade sanctions, restricting fruit and fish imports from Taiwan. He is also suspending the supply of sand to the island.

The trip of Ms. Pelosi, who is second in line for the presidency and the highest-ranking US elected official to visit Taiwan in 25 years, has caused a diplomatic storm.

She landed late on Tuesday following increasingly insistent warnings from China, which considers the island part of its territory that will one day be returned, by force if necessary.

Analysts believe more trade disruptions are coming

China’s customs administration said on Wednesday it would suspend imports of some citrus fruits from Taiwan due to alleged “repeated” detection of excessive amounts of pesticides, as well as imports of fish due to positive coronavirus test results on packages.
In a separate notice, the Commerce Department added that it would also “suspend natural sand exports to Taiwan” from Wednesday, without providing details.

Natural sand is commonly used to make concrete and asphalt, and most of Taiwan’s imported sand and gravel comes from China.

The moves are part of “an overall pattern for Beijing,” said Even Pei, an agricultural analyst at consultancy Trivium China.
She added that more disruptions to agricultural and food trade can be expected in the coming days.
“When diplomatic or trade tensions escalate, Chinese regulators are usually very strict about compliance … looking for any issues that can be used to justify a trade ban,” she told AFP.
Official data shows that China is Taiwan’s largest trading partner and export market, with bilateral trade up 26% year on year to $328 billion in 2021.
This is not the first time Beijing has targeted exports from the island.

China banned imports of pineapples in March 2021, citing pest detection in what many saw as a politically motivated move.

China has announced a military exercise within 20 kilometers of Taiwan’s coastline.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have also announced planned live-fire military exercises around Taiwan, which Taipei’s defense ministry says threatens key ports and urban areas.

According to the coordinates provided by the People’s Liberation Army, at some points the Chinese operations zone will be within 20 kilometers of the coastline of Taiwan.

China furious when Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taiwan image

Taiwan’s 23 million people have long lived with the possibility of invasion, but that threat has intensified under President Xi Jinping, China’s most assertive leader in a generation.

Beijing has stepped up pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016 because she views the island as a de facto sovereign state and not part of a “one China.”

“Taiwan won’t back down”

Taiwan’s president acted defiantly, declaring that there would be no “retreat.”
“Faced with deliberately heightened military threats, Taiwan will not back down. We … will continue to hold the line of defense of democracy,” said Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen at an event with Ms. Pelosi in Taipei.
She also thanked Ms. Pelosi for “taking concrete action to demonstrate your strong support for Taiwan at this critical time.”

“Today, our delegation … came to Taiwan to make it clear that we will not give up our commitment to Taiwan,” she said at the event along with Ms. Tsai.

Earlier, Ms. Pelosi said her group came “in friendship to Taiwan” and “in peace to the region.”
China is trying to isolate Taiwan on the world stage and oppose official country exchanges with Taipei.
President Joe Biden’s administration said ahead of the visit that US policy on Taiwan remains unchanged.
This means supporting his government in accepting Beijing diplomatically instead of Taipei and opposing Taiwan’s formal declaration of independence or China’s forcible takeover.

While the White House has been known to oppose stopping Ms. Pelosi in Taiwan, his National Security Council spokesman John Kirby has said she is free to go where she pleases.

Australia joins other countries in calling for de-escalation

Japan, a key U.S. ally in the region, said on Wednesday that it had expressed concern to China about the exercise, while South Korea called for dialogue to maintain peace and stability in the region.
Both countries are on Mrs. Pelosi’s Asian itinerary after stops in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said it was important to avoid any prospect of military conflict.

“All parties should think about how they can best contribute to reducing the current tensions, and we all want peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” she told ABC radio on Wednesday.

“We do have a situation where we see increased rhetoric and deployment of military hardware.”
Ms. Wong confirmed Australia’s support for the one China policy, in which Taiwan is not recognized as a country and the government in Beijing is the only Chinese government.
“Australia has a bipartisan policy towards China and we have a bipartisan policy against unilateral changes in the status quo,” she said.

“We must continue, together with others in the region, to call for the maintenance of peace and stability in the region.”