US Speaker Nancy Pelosi visit: China imposes sanctions on Taiwan
China imposed severe sanctions on the import of fruits and seafood from Taiwan and halted sand supplies to the island on Wednesday following a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi's visit has sparked a diplomatic row among the countries. Notably, it's only the second visit of any elected representative of the US to Taiwan in the last 25 years.
Why does this story matter?
Taiwan is autonomous, but China wants to integrate it with the mainland and claims the island as its own. The US and Taiwan have become more close, especially under the American administrations of Donald Trump (2017-2021) and Joe Biden (incumbent). While the US pledged to give Taiwan military assistance to defend itself under the Taiwan Relations Act, China considers it offensive.
What does Chinese official say?
As per the AFP, China's Customs Administration said on Wednesday that it would halt the importation of select citrus fruits and seafood from Taiwan. Officials cited the "repeated" finding of excessive pesticide residue and positive coronavirus tests on shipments. In a separate announcement, China's Commerce Ministry said that it will likewise "halt the shipment of natural sand to Taiwan" as of Wednesday, AFP reported.
Why did China take harsh decisions?
Beijing has mounted pressure on Taiwan since 2016 when President Tsai Ing-wen took office. She considers the island to be a de-facto sovereign nation. This is not the first time Beijing has targeted Taiwanese goods. In March 2021, China prohibited pineapple shipments from the island alleging that the product contains pests. However, such moves have been largely perceived as politically motivated, as per AFP.
China mulls military activities around Taiwan
Meanwhile, China is organizing live-fire military exercises around Taiwan, officials told AFP. According to Taipei's defence ministry, the maneuver poses a danger to the island's main ports and metropolitan centers. The zone of Chinese activities will reach within 20 kilometers of Taiwan's shoreline at times, according to coordinates supplied by the People's Liberation Army, (PAL), AFP reported
What did Nancy Pelosi say?
"America wants Taiwan to have freedom with security...We don't want anything to happen to Taiwan by force," said Pelosi while addressing a press conference. While respecting the 'One China' policy, she said American solidarity with Taiwan is "more crucial than ever."
How did China respond?
China has already warned the US of unspecified countermeasures and said that its military would never sit idle. "The US side will bear the responsibility and pay the price for undermining China's sovereign security interests," the Chinese Foreign Ministry had stated ahead of Pelosi's visit. Additionally, Chinese premier Xi Jinping expressed discontent with the visit over a phone call with Biden last month.Share this timeline