China restricts trade with Taiwan in wake of Pelosi visit

The curbs came after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan, to Beijing's chagrin

Reuters
Published : 3 August 2022, 05:17 AM
Updated : 3 August 2022, 05:17 AM

China is suspending imports of citrus fruits, chilled white striped hairtail and frozen horse mackerel from Taiwan starting Aug 3, China's customs said.

Earlier, China's commerce ministry said China would suspend export of natural sand to Taiwan from Wednesday.

The restrictions came after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late on Tuesday amid China's condemnation of the highest-level US visit to the island in 25 years.

Her arrival prompted a furious response from China at a time when international tensions already are elevated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has never renounced using force to bring it under its control. The United States warned China against using the visit as a pretext for military action against Taiwan.

China's foreign ministry said it lodged a strong protest with the United States, saying Pelosi's visit seriously damages peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, "has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-US relations, and seriously infringes upon China's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Chinese warplanes buzzed the line dividing the Taiwan Strait before her arrival. The Chinese military has been put on high alert and will launch "targeted military operations" in response to Pelosi's visit, the defence ministry said.

The Chinese military announced joint air and sea drills near Taiwan starting on Tuesday night and test launches of conventional missiles in the sea east of Taiwan, with Chinese state news agency Xinhua describing live-fire drills and other exercises around Taiwan from Thursday to Sunday.

Pelosi is on an Asia tour that includes announced visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. Her Taiwan visit was unannounced but widely anticipated.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher