Mainland to promote cooperation with Taiwan’s Taitung, expand imports of sugar apples: authority
Published: Oct 24, 2023 09:17 PM
A view of the Taipei city, Taiwan island Photo: Unsplash

A view of the Taipei city, Taiwan island Photo: Unsplash

The Chinese mainland is willing to conduct in-depth communications with Taitung, the island of Taiwan, on promoting cooperation and expanding shipments of sugar apples, a major crop grown in the Taiwan county, and make appropriate arrangements, a mainland official said.

Song Tao, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, made this remark when meeting with a delegation from Taitung led by county head Rao Ching-ling on Monday.

The mainland will work with concerned parties across the Taiwan Straits to strengthen economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation, deepen integrated development in various fields and continue to support businesses from Taiwan in investing and operating in the mainland, in a bid to push cross-Straits relations back to the right track of peaceful development, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The basic tone - that the Chinese mainland has always welcomed investment by businesses from Taiwan and was dedicated to promoting trade and economic links across the Straits - has never changed despite external chaos, experts said.

As the custard apple season draws near in Taiwan, the delegation has been actively communicating to support the resumption of the entry of fresh fruits from Taiwan to the Chinese mainland. 

The delegation visited relevant authorities and some enterprises in Beijing including Beijing Hualian Group and fresh product e-commerce platform Benlai from Sunday to Tuesday.

Previously, due to the repeated instances of pests requiring quarantine being detected in this type of fruit, the mainland suspended the entry of sugar apples from Taiwan to mitigate the risk of plant epidemics.

The temporary ban on custard apples was imposed in September 2021 after several shipments from Taiwan tested positive for a type of pest that posed a risk to plant health.

After a thorough assessment of relevant rectification measures undertaken by Taiwan's local fruit industry, the General Administration of Customs decided to resume the entry of sugar apples from the island of Taiwan from June 20 this year. Taitung is the largest production area in Taiwan for this crop.

The mainland is willing to conduct in-depth communications with Taitung on promoting cooperation and expanding shipments of sugar apples, and will make arrangements accordingly, said Song.

Deepening communication and enhancing cooperation based on the basis of reinforcing the political foundation of the "1992 Consensus" and opposing "Taiwan independence" could create the biggest benefits for compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, Rao from the delegation said.

She expressed appreciation for the kind response by the mainland on the resumption of custard apple shipments, while hoping for further promotion of Taiwan-produced fruits in the vast mainland market.

"The mainland is consistent in its support policies for business investment from Taiwan and committed to promoting economic links across the Straits," Wang Yong, an associate professor at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The temporary ban on some Taiwan fruit imports was due to a technical issue, which should not be interpreted in an ill-intended manner amid rising tensions across the Taiwan Straits due to provocative, separatist actions by the Democratic Progressive Party authorities, according to Wang.

In August, the mainland suspended imports of mangoes from Taiwan, after detecting harmful pests in the fruit that pose a serious threat to the mainland's agricultural production and biosecurity if allowed in.