In a surprise announcement, China has declared an import ban on Taiwan"s wax apples and sugar apples, citing harmful organisms. This is the second such announcement since its ban on Taiwanese pineapples in February. The Council of Agriculture says no other countries have made such an allegation against Taiwanese fruits; only China would pick a major holiday like the Mid-Autumn Festival to do so. The COA says it will seek formal channels to consult with China, and if there is no response before the end of the month, it will lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organization.An announcement posted on the website of China"s General Administration of Customs states that imports of Taiwan"s sugar apple and wax apples will be banned from entering China starting from Sept. 20. The reason of Harmful organisms was given for the suspension. This came out of the blue, and Taiwan"s Council of Agriculture is crying foul. Chen Chi-chungCouncil of Agriculture ministerFor them to pick a holiday, a day when people are coming together, to notify us this morning that the imports will be suspended the next day, of course, from the perspective of the Council of Agriculture, we find it completely unacceptable.Just this February, China banned the import of Taiwanese pineapples, citing the presence of scaled insects inside the fruit. The COA said the current action by the Chinese is not surprising. Chen Chi-chungCouncil of Agriculture ministerOur sugar apples and wax apples are sold to other countries, but China is the only country that notified us of not meeting the standard for scaled insects. How would other countries handle this? They wouldn"t just call it failure to meet the standard and suspend the trade. They would fumigate the fruit, because you can see the insects on the surface, and that"s that. The trade continues. Because our pineapples were banned by China back in February, the COA was ready for this one, since we knew that our sugar apples and wax apples would be next. To protect local farmers, the COA activated a NT$1 billion special fund to help sustain a balance between production and consumption. In addition to increasing domestic consumption and adjust the harvest periods, the money will go toward food processing costs so that prices can be propped up.According to statistics, Taiwan"s wax apples and sugar apples are mostly exported to China, which receives 20% of the annual production of sugar apples and less than 10% of wax apples. The COA is confident that the crisis can be resolved just like the pineapple crisis. Chen Chi-chungCouncil of Agriculture ministerAll the fruits that rely on a single market, like pineapples that used to be, if we then take care of the sugar apple and wax apple, and then deal with the citrus fruits, then we don"t have to worry about factors other than the professional issues that might trouble the development of Taiwan"s agriculture in the future.The Council of Agriculture stated that it will request consultations with China through formal channels. If there is no response before the end of the month, it will lodge a complaint with the WTO in October.