"The mainland says there are germs or illegal drugs, but we don't find them here. They just say they have it, and that's a political factor. Everything is the same, pineapples or guava are the same. The problem of access, we farm The households don’t know what to do?” This is what Lin Chunlai, a grouper farmer in Pingtung, Taiwan, told BBC Chinese. On June 10, China Customs issued a notice saying that illegal drugs were detected in grouper, and the import of grouper into the Chinese market would be “suspended” from June 13, causing panic among Taiwanese aquaculture operators and protests from the Taiwanese government.
Based on this, the Taiwan Council of Agriculture banner design criticized Beijing's move as a "repression of the government by farmers" since it banned pineapples, guava and other fruits last year, and hurt free trade and cross-strait trade. However, Beijing emphasizes that everything follows food safety regulations and criticizes the Taiwanese government for being pan-politicized. In any case, just like the ban on pineapples, the grouper incident once again triggered an agricultural crisis in Taiwan.
The issue of Taiwan's agricultural and aquatic products relying on a single Chinese market has resurfaced, and these disputes are also a microcosm of political changes across the Taiwan Strait. In the past, products such as grouper and pineapple were the products of lucrative profits under the 2010 Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). However, amid tensions across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwanese goods and crops on the ECFA list are facing a crisis. Some analysts say that ECFA is the key to the ban of these products in Taiwan.