China has halted importing certain foodstuffs from Taiwan in response to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island.

Biscuits, pastries, bread, citrus fruits, honey and mackerel are among the food items to be blocked from entry into China from the island by China’s General Administration of Customs, according to local media outlet United Daily News.

Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported yesterday (2 August) that among the 3,200 Taiwanese companies registered with China’s customs under the category of food, 2,066 entries had been listed as “import suspension” They include 35 Taiwanese exporters of biscuit and pastry products which are popular locally.

China, which has previously banned apples and pineapples from Taiwan, claims the island as part of its own territory. Beijing argues Pelosi’s visit gives US backing to Taipei’s independence claims and goes against the one-China principle that Washington has abided by.

Pelosi hailed the self-ruled island as “one of the freest societies in the world” and pledged American solidarity. Her visit to Taiwan had led to China launching military activity in surrounding waters and summoning the US ambassador in Beijing.

In a statement published by the Chinese state-controlled press agency Xinhua yesterday, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “The United States, for its part, has been attempting to use Taiwan to contain China. It constantly distorts, obscures and hollows out the one-China principle, steps up its official exchanges with Taiwan, and emboldens ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist activities.

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By GlobalData

“These moves, like playing with fire, are extremely dangerous. Those who play with fire will perish by it.”

Amid the opposition from China, Pelosi told a press conference in Taiwan it was quite common for US Congresspersons to visit the country, citing a previous trip made by six US politicians, including US Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Menendez, in April.

She also reiterated Washington’s stance it supported the cross-Taiwan Strait status quo. “We don’t want anything to happen to Taiwan by force,” she said.

But tweeting today (3 August), Pelosi reinforced her support for the island’s independence.

“Our Congressional delegation had the great privilege of meeting with the vice president of the legislative Yuan Tsai Chi-chang here in Taipei,” she said.

“We reiterated our iron-clad support for Taiwan’s democracy, including on matters of security and stability, economic growth and governance.”