China has reportedly suspended alcoholic beverage imports from Taiwan allegedly over labelling issue, affecting the island’s exports of popular beer brands and Kavalan whisky as tensions escalate.
It’s not immediately clear about the specifics behind the labeling issue, but business community from Taiwan industry speculate that the registration of origin in some of the alcoholic products used “Republic of Taiwan” instead of “Taiwan, China”.
One businessman was quoted as saying “the current situation is too confusing. No one knows for sure and it’s possible they might add more products to the suspended list next week.”
China considers the island a renegade province and tensions across the Taiwan straits racketed up this year after American politician Nancy Pelosi’ visit to the island, which prompted a series of retaliation from Beijing from military drills to trade bans on fruits and fish.
The suspension announced on December 9 reportedly has already cost Taiwan Beer, a popular beer brand produced by Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corp., NT$1.3 million (US$42,326) worth of exports to the mainland in December, according to local media.
Some other alcohol manufacturers in Taiwan currently barred from being imported to China include Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Inc., King Car Group, Taihu Brewing, Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation, and Legend Brewery. Additionally, products from major soft drink and health supplement brands including Heysong, Vitalon, Uni-President, Taisun, Oceanic Beverage, and Nin Jiom have also been blocked, according to Taiwan News.
Kinmen Kaoling, a Taiwan-made baijiu, and Kavalan Whisky are known brands in mainland China and both exports millions worth of products each year to the mainland.
Following the suspension, Taiwan said on Saturday that it will file a complaint against China with the World Trade Organization (WTO) for interfering with trade through administrative registration restrictions.
Since Pelosi’ visit in August, China has suspended imports from Taiwan affecting citrus fruits, pineapple, baby food, seafood, vegetables, cookies and among others. Food though only contributes to a tiny fraction of Taiwan’s more than US$328 billion of bilateral trade with China last year.