Taiwan may complaint with WTO over Chinese import bans

Taiwan is looking to drag China to the World Trade Organisation after the latter banned imports of Taiwanese food and drink products.

On Saturday, Premier Su Tseng-chang accused Beijing of carrying out unfair trade practices as part of its pressure campaign against the island.

For the past two years, Taiwan has been complaining about the Chinese import ban on its products, ranging from agricultural, to aquatic goods. The latest ban covers more fishery products, chief among them squid, as well as some beers and liquors.

China claims that Taiwanese products have been banned due to improper paperwork from the companies.

Taiwan believes that it is part of a pressure campaign, which has been ramped up since the election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016.

Briefing reporters, Su accused China of using administrative means to “interfere” in normal trade which doesn’t conform to the WTO norms.

He said that the government will do its best to communicate with relevant Chinese departments on the issue, Reuters reported. Taiwan and China are both WTO members.

“If there is any non-compliance with the relevant WTO norms, we will also follow the relevant channels to file a complaint,” he was quoted as saying.

Responding to the issue, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office released a statement late Friday arguing that the problem was an administrative one and that their decision to ban the imports affected those companies which were not properly registered.

It claimed that this was a “normal food safety supervision measure”.

“At the same time, we are telling the relevant departments on the island to immediately stop any political manipulation and not to do anything stupid that harms companies on the island.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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