China’s surprise ban on pineapple imports from Taiwan five months ago was widely viewed as an attempt to undermine President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) standing, but trade data show that the move has not produced the desired effect.
Council of Agriculture data show that growers of the fruit in Taiwan have fared better since China blocked imports on March 1, as Japanese have stepped in.
Shipments to Japan surged more than eightfold to 16,556 tonnes in the four months through June from a year earlier. A domestic campaign also helped.
The helping hand from Japan has come as a pleasant surprise for Taiwan’s growers, who were bracing for a plunge in prices following the move by China.
“The bleeding was stopped before it even began,” council official Chen Li-i (陳立儀) said.
Japan has now replaced China as the major overseas destination for Taiwan’s pineapples.
Pineapples are an important source of income for farmers in central and southern Taiwan. About 11 percent of the tropical fruit harvested in Taiwan are sold overseas.
“Export orders are looking unexpectedly good,” Harvest Consultancy Co chief executive Chiao Chun (焦鈞) said. “This really was a crisis turned into an opportunity.”
Besides the help from Japan, an increase in domestic demand fueled by a “save the farmers” campaign on social media rallied local shoppers in support of growers.
As a result, domestic prices of the fruit jumped 28 percent to an average of NT$22.1 per kilogram in the March-to-June period, a three-year high.
“Higher prices driven by strong domestic demand led to more profit for farmers,” Chen said.
China’s Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong has asked foreign consulates in Hong Kong to submit details of their local staff, which is more proof that the “one country, two systems” model no longer exists, a Taiwanese academic said. The office sent letters dated Monday last week to consulates in the territory, giving them one month to submit the information it requires. The move followed Beijing’s attempt to obtain floor plans for all properties used by foreign missions in Hong Kong last year, which raised concerns among diplomats that the information could be used for
‘ABNORMITY’: News of the military exercises on the coast of the Chinese province facing Taiwan were made public by the Ministry of National Defense on Thursday Taiwan’s military yesterday said it has detected the Chinese military initiating a round of exercises at a bay area in coastal Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan, since early yesterday morning and it has been closely monitoring the drills. The exercises being conducted at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay featured an undisclosed number of People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes, warships and ground troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in a press statement. The ministry did not disclose what kind of military exercises are being conducted there and for how long they would be happening, but it did say that it has been closely watching
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said that Beijing was trying to “annex” Taiwan, while China said its recent series of drills near Taiwan are aimed at combating the “arrogance” of separatist forces. The Ministry of National Defense earlier this month said that it had observed dozens of Chinese fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships and the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, operating nearby. The increased frequency of China’s military activities has raised the risk of events “getting out of hand” and sparking an accidental clash, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said last week. Asked about the spurt
Noting that researchers have found that 85 China-based blogs and accounts were spreading a conspiracy theory that a US “meteorological weapon” had caused recent fires in Hawaii, political observers in Taiwan said the nation also needs to be vigilant of Beijing employing similar disinformation campaigns against Taiwan. The untrue content concerning Hawaii was written in 15 languages and disseminated across a myriad of platforms including Facebook, YouTube and X, a report published in Gizmodo said, citing NewsGuard, an online news content ranker. The effort represented the most expansive Chinese informational operation to be uncovered by NewsGuard to date, Gizmodo said. The conspiracy theory