A Chinese ban on pineapple imports from Taiwan has sparked a flood of patriotic buying of the fruit and forced restaurants to come up with inventive new menu choices but it has also left many questioning Taipei’s overwhelming economic reliance on its giant neighbour.
While much of the island’s pineapple crop is consumed at home, 90 percent of its overseas shipments head for sale in the vast Chinese market.
However, that leaves its farmers at the mercy of Beijing’s authoritarian leaders who view the self-ruled democracy as their own territory and have vowed to one day seize it, by force if needed.
And on March 1 they suddenly imposed a ban on pineapples citing the discovery of pests, sending panic among the fruit’s farmers fearing for their livelihoods.
“This is a political issue that we farmers are unable to resolve,” lamented plantation owner Min Lee-ming, as dozens of workers rushed