November 13, 2021

In September, China’s General Administration of Customs (海关总署通知, Haiguan zong shu tongzhi) imposed bans on Taiwan’s sugar apples and wax apples, claiming that harmful pests were found in produce imports on multiple occasions (SCMP, September 19; PRC Customs Notice, September 18). In response to China’s suspensions, Taiwan considered filing a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) (Taipei Times September 20; PRC Customs Notice, February 26). In fact, this is not the first time that Taiwan’s tropical fruits have suffered from Chinese import restrictions. In February, Beijing also suspended the importation of Taiwanese pineapples using similar justifications (Reuters, February 26). Meanwhile, at the beginning of October, China greatly increased its military probing of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) including the largest single-day incursion to date on October 4 involving 56 warplanes. (Taiwan News, October 4, 2021). The intensity and frequency of PLA Air Force incursions indicate that Beijing is flexing its muscles, and ability to project force around Taiwan’s airspace and maritime borders.

Authors: Christina Lai - Publication date: 2021/11/5 Journal China Brief - Volume 21 - Issue 21 - Pages 5-10 - Publisher China Brief - Jamestown Foundation's_Strategy_in_Countering_China's_Economic_Coercion

Christina Lai China CWP JHU Sinica Taiwan

Christina Lai is a junior research fellow in the Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica, Taiwan. She is also a lecturer in Global Security Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She is interested in U.S.-China Relations, Chinese Foreign Policy, East Asian politics, and Qualitative Research Methods. Her works have appeared in the Journal of Contemporary China, Pacific Review, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, Asian Survey, Asia Time, China’s World, and, Asian Security.

Her research projects were supported by the Lynde and Bradley Foundation, Global Taiwan Institute, Georgetown University, and American Political Science Association.

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