Agricultural experts yesterday urged the government to reduce reliance on China, which is the nation’s largest export destination for agricultural products, by finding other markets and seeking patent protection for some of Taiwan’s unique plants.
On Friday, China announced that it was suspending imports of pineapples from Taiwan on the grounds that it had found scale insects among the fruit.
The same day, Chinese media promoted Hsuwen pineapples produced in China’s Guangdong Province, which are actually a variety of pineapple from Taiwan.
Wu Rong-jieh (吳榮杰), an honorary professor at National Taiwan University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, said it is no secret that some people have transferred agricultural technology to China.
“Some consider personal interests above national interests and take the technology with them to China because of the short-term benefits. Others do not even consider China a hostile nation and even think of it as a motherland. Technology transfer becomes inevitable when you confuse political and economic issues,” Wu said.
For example, Taiwan was once known for its giant groupers, which would take three years to grow, he said, adding that the market price went as high as NT$1,500 per 600g at one point.
In 2008, after the technology used to raise giant groupers was given to China, many large indoor grouper facilities were built in China’s Fujian Province.
Taiwan and China signed an economic cooperation framework agreement in 2010, which listed giant groupers as one of the tax-free items, and by 2014, the number of groupers produced in Taiwan reached a record 26,000 tonnes, 80 percent of which were exported to China, Wu said.
However, groupers from China began to be sold in Taiwan in 2012, with the market price sliding to NT$500 per 600g, he said, adding that by then eight times more groupers were being produced in China than what was being produced in Taiwan.
Since 2016, China has imposed a 13 percent business tax on groupers imported from Taiwan, Wu said, adding that the market price for grouper has dropped below NT$250 per 600g.
“We should not rely on the Chinese market anymore and need to quickly find other reliable, high-end markets,” he said.
Yang Ming-hsien (楊明憲), a professor at Feng Chia University’s Department of International Business, said even if China managed to obtain fruit-growing technology from Taiwan, the fruit grown there might not be as good if farmers do not have the same management skills and the climate is different.
Some of the nation’s unique plant varieties should be patented to protect intellectual property rights, he said, adding that this could be used as a strategy to compete with other countries.
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
‘NOT IMPOSSIBLE’: Acceptance to the UN would end the nation’s troubles, but it would be impossible to achieve without US backing, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun said The US might recognize Taiwan if war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said yesterday while discussing politics with former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Speaking on Chen’s program on Smile Radio, You reminisced about his agrarian childhood, studies, the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party in 1986 and his eight years as Yilan County commissioner. Chen’s appointment of You as premier in February 2002 marked several firsts, as he was Taiwan’s youngest premier, as well as the first from a farming background and first democratically elected county leader to hold the office. Asked to share his views on
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday rejected the claim Beijing has been making about Taiwan’s status, while thanking US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for raising concerns about Taiwan during her meeting with Chinese officials. Sherman met with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on a visit to Tianjin on Sunday and Monday, with Wang urging Washington not to infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Taiwan is part of China, a fundamental fact that would never change, and China has the right to take any action needed to restrain Taiwanese independence, Wang said, urging Washington to abide
A solo exhibition by Taiwanese artist Lee Kuang-yu (李光裕) at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay has generated considerable attention since its opening last year, including from Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍). Since the COVID-19 pandemic closed borders early last year, domestic tourism in Singapore has soared at destinations such as the popular Gardens by the Bay, a nature park in the city-state’s Central Region. Since the venue’s reopening in August last year, “A Sculptor’s Secret Garden,” a solo exhibition of Lee Kuang-yu’s work curated by Tan Hwee Koon (陳慧君), has been been especially popular. Originally scheduled to close today, the show