03/08/2021, 09.24
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Taipei defeats Beijing in 'pineapple war'

After the ban on imports imposed by China, more fruit sold than those exported to China in 2020. Japan, Australia, Vietnam and Singapore join buyers. Island government: Beijing wants to harm us. Anger mounts among Taiwanese population with the Chinese.

Taipei (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Taiwan is defeating China in the "pineapple war". At the end of February, Beijing blocked imports of the fruit from the island: The Taiwanese government responded with the #FreedomPineapple campaign, asking its citizens and partner countries to purchase unsold quantities from China.

Taipei's move has proven a success: in a few days, Taiwanese pineapple purchases exceeded the total of those exported to China last year. About 41,687 tons were sold domestically and abroad, mainly in Japan, Australia, Vietnam and Singapore.

Taiwan's anti-boycott campaign was inspired by a similar one launched by the Australian government to protect national wine production. Last year Canberra clashed with China after Beijing imposed tariffs of more than 200% on wine imports from Australia.

Chinese authorities justified the ban on Taiwanese pineapples with the discovery of harmful parasites in the batches imported last year. According to Taiwanese counterparts, the allegations are false, given that in 2020 99.79% of the quantities sold in China all passed customs controls.

Taipei, and the majority of Taiwanese and foreign observers, believe the ban is just yet another attempt by China to damage the island's economy and embarrass President Tsai Ing-wen. The president is considered a dangerous separatist by Beijing and Taiwan a "rebel province".

Analysts note that China's move has become a boomerang. The Chinese decision infuriated Taiwanese public opinion, showing the ineffectiveness of the pro-Beijing policies proposed by the Kuomintang. Over the past 20 years, the nationalist opposition has in fact focused on increasing bilateral trade to improve relations with the "motherland".


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