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Taiwanese politician proposes a pineapples for Penfolds exchange

With the Chinese government having announced a ban on Taiwanese pineapples, one Taiwanese politician has suggested that Taiwan and Australia could set up a deal to trade pineapples for Australian wine.

Due to the suspicion of pests on the Taiwanese imports on multiple cases since last year, the Chinese government decided to stop importing Taiwanese pineapples to the country, took effect on 1 March.

According to the figures announced by the Council of Agriculture of Taiwan, the Chinese market accounts for more than 90% of Taiwan’s pineapple exports.

Last year, 46,000 tons of pineapples were sold to China. However, about 90% of Taiwan’s pineapple production is for domestic sales. Exports only account for about 10% of the annual output.

Once the announcement was made, the Taiwanese officials are calling for way out solutions to help the farmers.

Tainan Mayor Huang Weizhe said they are facing a similar situation as Australia does, where some of their produces, including Australian wine, were being boycotted by the mainland. He suggested if Australia is interested in Taiwanese pineapples, both parties can consider mutually benefit one another by exchanging pineapples for wine.

Moreover, after the advocation, in four days’ time Taiwanese farmers have already received pre-orders for 41,687 tons of pineapples from domestic orders, which already surpasses the annual quantity of exports to China.

For export, United States, Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia have expressed their intention to help promote Taiwan’s pineapples. For example, Japan expands their support to Taiwanese farmers from buying 2,000 tons of pineapple last year to ordering more than 5,000 tons of them this year.

More than 40,000 tons are all sold out. China’s wishful thinking is that pineapples worth more than one billion yuan can create a feeling of hatred for the DPP within Taiwan. As a result, not only has Taiwan become more united, the international community has also begun to support Taiwan. In the past year Selling more than 2,000 metric tons of Japan, this year Japan has ordered more than 5,000 tons, reaching a historic new high.

Although the Chinese customs claimed the restriction was merely due to technicality, in fact, 99.79% of imported batches from Taiwan had passed inspection last year.

In recent years, China has found to induce economic sanctions on countries which expressed political disagreement to Beijing. Australia was put under trade punishment by China over a range of political disputes, including the origin of COVID-19.

The Taiwanese government also referred the pineapple ban as a political move by Beijing to induce economic war against Taiwan, especially the southern part of the island that generally stands for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, which is independence-leaning.

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