Taiwan threatened to take China before the World Trade Organization after Beijing suspended sugar apple and wax apple imports from the island nation due to pest concerns. Reuters says it’s the latest flare-up between the two countries over fruit. China’s customs administration has said more than once that it’s detected pests in the sugar apples and wax apples. The administration asked all of its offices to begin stopping customs clearance for those items.
Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture Minister says China made the decision “unilaterally” without providing any scientific evidence to support the move. Taiwan told China it will take the country through the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanism if Beijing doesn’t respond to Taiwan’s request to settle the issue under the existing bilateral agreement between the two before September 30.
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu took it a step further on Twitter, noting that China was now “weaponizing trade” and the move should cast doubt over its recent application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade group. Relations between Taiwan and China are at their lowest point in years.
The National Association of Farm Broadcasting and the American Farm Bureau Federation contributed to this report.