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Mango tangle

Previously, I blogged about China's attempt to give Taiwan a pair of giant pandas, ostensibly to foster "cross-Straits affinity". Of course, it's difficult to drum up much affinity in a nation you are simultaneously threatening with military action, and Taiwan rejected the gift (although it later seemed to soften its position).

The gift pandas were not China's only goodwill overture. It also proposed opening its market further to fruits grown in Taiwan, like mangoes. However, a recent story from Taiwan's Central News Agency suggests that this gesture is getting an equally cold shoulder:

Last year, Tainan County exported 501 tons of mangoes, worth US$2 million, to Japan. Following the inauguration of two heat/steam fruit-disinfecting facilities in the Chuochen and Yuching townships in early July, exports are expected to grow to 1,500 tons this year, totalling US$10 million, according to the county government.

Asked about China's offer to open its market wider to Taiwan fruits, Su said China is only one export outlet for Taiwan fruits. He added that although China has offered tariff-free treatment for many Taiwan fruits, it is not a good market for high-priced agricultural products. He suggested Taiwan work to make inroads into markets where consumers have more spending power and are more receptive to higher value fruits.
Translation: "Aww... that's so cute that you want to buy our produce, but we'd rather sell it in countries where the people aren't so poor." Ouch.




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