China Out to Destroy ‘Mislabeled’ Taiwan Products
China has embarked on a mission to destroy products from Taiwan which are not carrying the label of the country of origin mentioning Taiwan area. China is using technical grounds when claiming products must not carry the label of being manufactured in Taiwan but should instead utilize the official name of the island and mention Republic of China. Taiwan is an island which is self-ruled but considered as a province of China by the Chinese.
Recently, China has destroyed imports from Taiwan according to reports published by Taipei Times. The shipments which faced the ire of Chinese authorities included food products which did not use the label mentioning them as being produced in Taiwan area or mentioning China in the label.
China’s weak argument
China has been using absolutely flimsy grounds to destroy the products simply because the word ‘area’ had not been used with the phrase Chinese Taiwan. Lu Ming-Yen the leader of the trade and export Association of Taiwan has spoken to Taipei Times and provided information that he was aware of the incidences which would have cost businesses in excess of $100,000 for every shipment that was destroyed.
China has increasingly been pressuring international corporations such as Zara Marriott and Delta airlines to rectify any reference to Taiwan on their websites. The status of Taiwan is disputed by China despite being self-ruled and is officially identified as the Republic of China. 2016 onwards Taiwan has a pro-independence party managing the governance.
China, however, considers Taiwan differently and believes it is a province of China which will eventually be reunified under the one-China principle. The Chinese believe that Taiwan is a portion of one China.
The president of Taiwan spoke to President-elect Donald Trump which further managed to aggravate China and he has regularly refused to acknowledge the principle of one China. Taiwan did not face any issues with China until the pro-independence party took over leading to the Chinese to begin demanding the mention of ‘Taiwan area’ on products exported from the country.
Taiwan is part of the problem
Taiwan has its own set of rules for exports which are perhaps contributing to making the situation even more difficult. Customs officials in Taiwan have been instructed only to clear exports which are using one of the three labels mentioned below. The disclosure was made in a report published by Taiwan news. Customs officials from Taiwan have stipulated that any products exported should carry one of the following three labels:
- Made in the Republic of China.
- Made in Taiwan, the Republic of China.
- Made in Taiwan.
The stipulation issued by the customs officials could be a valid excuse for the Chinese authorities to claim contravention of their policies and could perhaps have led to the destruction of the goods. Can this matter be resolved without aggravating things further? As things presently stand both countries seem determined to hold on to their policies which are causing difficulties to importers within China.
A look at China’s hold on Taiwan
China is acknowledged as having an expansionist policy and has been imposing its beliefs not just on Taiwan but also on other countries in Southeast Asia. Their expansionist policy has already made Sri Lanka an indebted country because of its huge borrowings to construct a port. China has also adopted a similar policy with Pakistan where they have an agreement to develop certain areas of Pakistan at an investment amounting to billions of dollars. The agreement is presently suspended because of allegations of corruption on the Pakistani side but nevertheless is likely to progress soon. Whether China has the authority to impose its beliefs on its neighbors or not is a matter of individual perception but countries that are indebted to China have no options but to give in to their demands.
Taiwan is the hub of manufacturing but does not depend on China for support to its economy. Attempting to curtail the exports of Taiwan by using flimsy grounds could be a method being used by China to impose itself on its neighbor. Whether or not Taiwan succumbs to the pressure or looks China in the eye is something which only time can decide. Until that time, unfortunately, importers in China will continue to face the hassles simply because two countries are unable to decide on the labels that products should be carrying.
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