Beijing’s new trade blocks on Taiwan after Pelosi’s visit more political than economic

beijing trade restrictions taiwan pelosi

Beijing’s new trade restrictions against Taiwan affect about 0.04% of their two-way trade, making them more political than economic.

Beijing took action against Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island earlier this month despite warnings from Beijing. That included suspensions of imports of frozen fish, sweets, Taiwanese citrus, and biscuits and exports of natural sands to Taiwan.

Taiwan is a self-ruled democracy, but Beijing considers the island a part of its territory and a breakaway province. China says Taipei has no right to conduct foreign relations and warned against Pelosi’s visit for weeks.

Taiwan’s exports to mainland China were worth $113 billion last year. Its imports from China amounted to about $82 billion, excluding re-exports and re-imports, according to figures from the Taiwanese trade bureau.

Most of that was in electrical machinery and electronic and technological parts, which the Chinese government has not targeted.

Regarding Taiwan’s imports from mainland China, over half of the $82 billion traded in 2021 were electrical machinery, technological and electronic parts, nuclear boilers, and reactors.

The volume of trade in areas that Beijing has targeted it’s relatively small. China had targeted exports of natural sand to Taiwan, which were a drop in the ocean against the above figures. Data from the Taiwanese trade bureau showed they amounted to about $3.5 million in 2021.

Other targets such as Taiwan’s exports of pastry, bread, biscuits, and cakes to mainland China were worth over $50 million last year.