China pressures Taiwan with fish ban-NYT
Islam News – China’s recent ban on importing grouper from Taiwan has quickly transformed a lucrative industry into one scrambling for support, threatening the livelihoods of fish farmers there and showing the extent of Chinese economic power, said the New York Times.
Without the Chinese market, grouper, which is known for its lean and moist meat, is crashing in price. Last year, the vast majority of Taiwan’s grouper exports — 91 percent and more than $50 million worth — went to China. Most of those grouper were shipped alive, and shifting markets elsewhere would most likely require a system of refrigerated or frozen transportation, which would bring added costs.
The ban came as China’s leader, Xi Jinping — who has said that Taiwan’s unification with China is inevitable — has ramped up pressure on the island: sending military aircraft toward the island almost daily, peeling off its diplomatic allies and blocking it from joining international organizations. Recently, Beijing has sought to restrict the island’s access to China’s vast consumer market, banning Taiwanese pineapples and wax apples — and now grouper.
What’s next: Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture has said it will consider filing a complaint about the grouper ban to the World Trade Organization. In the meantime, grouper farmers said they would have to settle for selling the fish on the domestic market at a huge loss.
Source: The New York Times