By Ebi Kesiena
Chinese mainland customs have disclosed plans to ban cherimoya and wax apple imports from Taiwan Island after multiple inspections detected quarantine pests in the two subtropical fruits.
According to a notice published on the website of the General Administration of Customs recently, customs authorities will suspend declarations for cherimoya and wax apple originating from Taiwan, citing planococcus minor found on multiple occasions this year.
While the ban, which comes days after US media reported that US officials were considering changing the name of the Taiwan mission in Washington to “Taiwan Representative Office,” may easily trigger speculation whether it is an economic warning, it is actually a normal biosafety precaution measure.
Planococcus minor is a pest of more than 250 host plants and can harm tropical and subtropical fruits, as well as crops. Once introduced and colonized, the pest could create serious economic damage across the fruit industry.
This is not the first time the mainland has imposed a ban on the import of fruit from Taiwan island due to harmful organisms.