• Ties between China and Taiwan, which have historically been rocky over issues such as sovereignty, foreign relations and military build-up, are now being tested by pineapples.
• On March 1, China banned the import of pineapples from Taiwan, alleging there was a risk of “harmful creatures” that could threaten its own agriculture.
• Since then, an angry Taiwan has refuted China’s claims of pests being found in imported pineapples, and has gone on to insist that the move is aimed at increasing political pressure on Taiwan, which China considers its own province.
• Following this, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen kicked off a “pineapple challenge” on social media to attract more Taiwanese consumers to buy the fruit and counter China’s move.
• Taiwan’s foreign minister also urged “like-minded friends around the globe to stand with #Taiwan & rally behind the #FreedomPineapple”.
The larger dispute between Taiwan and China:
• Under its “One China” policy, Beijing considers Taiwan a province of China, even though Taiwan is a democratic, self-ruled country.
• Although the two participate separately in international events, China repeatedly insists that Taiwan should be called “Chinese Taipei”, in efforts to prevent international recognition of Taiwan as a country.
• Towards the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, and before the post-war treaties were to be signed, members of the Kuomintang party (KMT) were driven out of the mainland by the Communists, who would later establish the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
• The KMT retreated to Taiwan, becoming a government in exile. For some time, Taiwan was internationally recognised as the government of the Republic of China (RoC), and still officially calls itself so.
Mains Paper 2: International
Prelims level: FreedomPineapple campaign