According to Friday’s Nikkei article, US tech giant Apple instructed its suppliers to rigorously adhere to Chinese mainland customs requirements and refrain from labelling goods from Taiwan island as “made in Taiwan.”
The Chinese mainland appears to be moving to tighten the enforcement of labelling rules on imports from the island, suggesting that the mainland will not allow any ambiguity on the Taiwan question on all aspects, including in the economic and trade area, experts noted. This is another potential economic fallout of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s provocative visit to Taiwan.
In order to prevent shipments from being stopped for inspection, mainland authorities have reportedly begun stricter implementation of a requirement that Taiwan-manufactured parts and components be identified as made either in “Taiwan, China” or “Chinese Taipei.”
The Apple warning followed another media story claiming that shipments to Pegatron Corp.’s facility in Suzhou, East China’s Jiangsu Province, were being held by Chinese customs for inspection to check for labeling regulatory violations. According to Bloomberg, Pegatron refuted the report and claimed that there had been no interruptions to shipments and that its Suzhou production was running properly. On Saturday, Apple is not accessible for comment.
In fact, the General Administration of Customs of China already said that the import and export of goods and their packaging with labelling that contravenes the one-China concept were prohibited at the beginning of 1999. Therefore, rules governing the management of certificates of origin and labelling in cross-Straits trade have been in effect on the mainland for a very long time.
According to Gao Lingyun, a specialist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing, a tightening of the labelling law may have an impact on all companies who export goods from Taiwan island to the mainland, not only Apple’s suppliers.
Gao claims that the labeling rule’s enforcement in the past was not strictly enforced. Many exporters from Taiwan used to label the boxes loaded with goods as “Taiwan, China” after leaving the Taiwan ports to avoid the rule because the Taiwan authorities also mandate that all exported goods made on the island be labelled as “Taiwan” or the so-called “Republic of China,” according to Gao.
“The likelihood of cargo from Taiwan Island being confiscated by mainland customs may increase if the mainland authorities intensify the execution of the rule,” Gao noted.
Mei Xinyu, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce, told the Global Times on Saturday that despite concerns about trade barriers, this is more like a posture of emphasizing the one China principle to the cross-Straits business community after Pelosi’s visit.
The Taiwan issue is on the verge of a confrontation as a result of Pelosi’s travel to the island and pandering by the secessionist Democratic Progressive Party. In light of this, Mei observed that the labelling rule is essentially informing Taiwan’s business community that they must make a decision.
Following Pelosi’s controversial trip to Taiwan, the Chinese mainland’s customs authorities on Wednesday halted the importation of two types of fish and citrus fruits from Taiwan, including grapefruits, lemons, and oranges. This was done in compliance with rules and food safety requirements. Natural sand used in building from the mainland was not allowed to be exported to the island.