China imposed a blanket ban on all imports of Taiwanese pineapples last week, alleging that “harmful organisms” had been found in the fruit.
President Tsai condemned China for its “ambush-like, unilateral notice that it would ban imports of Taiwan pineapples”, despite the fact that 99.79 percent of imported batches had passed inspection.
China’s move has been interpreted by observers in Taiwan as directed at the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is frequently critical of China.
Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu launched the “Freedom Pineapple” campaign on Twitter. The aim of the online campaign was to secure orders for pineapple from farmers
Taiwanese farmers received pre-orders for 41,687 tons of pineapples from companies, e-commerce platforms, and consumers, already exceeding the annual quantity of exports to China.
With the call to take on the ban by China, Taiwanese businesses and citizens made up for the potential shortfall in sales by buying an entire year’s worth of the tropical fruit in just four days!
The U.S., Japan, and Canadian embassies in Taiwan all came on board to help promote Taiwan’s pineapples, in response to a Chinese import ban on the fruit.
While Taiwan has shown that it can stand up to economic bullying, it has also offered the olive branch to China urging it to respect its fruit inspection negotiation system.