4th August 2022 – (Hong Kong) U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan and stayed for less than 24 hours, but she has already sowed the seeds of instability for the security of the Taiwan Strait. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) announced that it will conduct military exercises and organise live ammunition in six sea areas around Taiwan from 12am today to 12am this Sunday (7th).
The military operation is expected to affect Taiwan’s navigation and shipping service for 3 days. At least 51 flights at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport need have been canceled today, including many passenger flights to and from Hong Kong, and there may be more cargo flights. Those in the fruit and vegetable import industry are worried that the exercise will affect the air transport between the two places, and even the Hong Kong government may follow the mainland to prohibit the import of fruits from Taiwan.
In addition to the impact of civil aviation, the effect on freight transport is even greater. At present, a large number of fresh Taiwanese fruits are sent by air to Hong Kong every day. Ng Wing-yan, chairman of merchants association of first wholesalers/jobbery of imported fresh fruits and vegetables said that when the Mainland banned the import of Taiwanese fruits in the past, sugar apples and pineapples were still resold in Hong Kong. Even if previous Hong Kong governments did not follow the mainland’s embargo on Taiwan’s imports, the new government may take a different approach, and the imported fruits from Taiwan may be banned.
He estimated that this incident may affect the supply of the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival. Carambola or star fruits from Taiwan have always been more popular with Hong Kong people. If the ban is implemented, Taiwanese star fruits may not be available during the Mid-Autumn Festival. In addition, Taiwan’s seasonal summer fruits, including mangosteen and yellow-fleshed watermelon and Carambola may be temporarily banned but this will only have a slight impact on Hong Kong, as they account for less than 10% of the total fruits sold in Hong Kong.
Peter Shiu, member of the Legislative Council said that it would be appropriate for the Hong Kong government to cooperate with the mainland’s policy of banning the import of Taiwanese products, because it shows that Hong Kong’s countermeasures against acts that undermine national unity. Some political parties believe that if the Hong Kong government wants to follow the same policy in the Mainland, it should explain it clearly to the public.
Relevant authorities on the Chinese mainland announced yesterday that it would suspend the entry of citrus fruits and two types of fish products from the Taiwan region starting Wednesday. The entry of citrus fruits including grapefruits, lemons and oranges, as well as chilled largehead hairtail and frozen horse mackerel from Taiwan will be suspended in accordance with the mainland’s relevant regulations, and food safety requirements, said Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.