[Mainland Affairs Council blasts China’s ban on Taiwan wax, sugar apples] Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Sunday (September 19) expressed strong dissatisfaction with China’s decision to stop importing Taiwanese sugar and wax apples. The Animal and Plant Quarantine Department of China’s customs authority said in a statement Sunday that in order to prevent the risk of plant epidemics and in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and standards, it has decided to temporarily suspend imports of the two fruits from Taiwan beginning on Monday (September 20). The MAC said that in the past, there had been continuous cross-strait trade, with Taiwanese agricultural products enjoying tax exemptions and streamlined customs clearance. However, China’s sudden suspension of shipments of pineapples from Taiwan in February and now sugar and wax apples has effectively put an end to cross-strait agricultural trade, the council said. The MAC denounced Beijing’s refusal to continue trade dialogue as “unacceptable,” adding that China’s actions harm Taiwanese farmers, businesses, and the nation’s agriculture industry as well as cross-strait relations, the Liberty Times reported. “The ban is inconsistent with WTO and international trade regulations, and it undermines the cross-strait trade mechanism,” the MAC said. It also noted that multiple countries have expressed disapproval of China’s recent application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The MAC emphasized that the quarantining of agricultural products is a purely business and technical matter. If the established mechanisms of both sides can communicate and resolve the issue, it will be beneficial for future cross-strait exchanges, the council added. With regard to the adverse effects on Taiwan’s wax and sugar apple farmers and related businesses, the Council of Agriculture will work with other government agencies to protect the rights and interests of Taiwanese farmers, the MAC said. https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4292187