TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As part of its efforts to suppress Taiwan at every turn, China has recently started to destroy imported Taiwanese products that do not have the newly required "Taiwan Area" (台灣地區) or "Taiwan Area, China" (中國台灣地區) label, with the loss of a single shipment costing a Taiwanese company millions, reported Liberty Times.
Hwa Mei Food Co (樺美食品) chairman Lu Ming-yen (呂明炎) said an interview with Liberty Times that since he became president of a trade and export association in Changhua last year, he has knowledge of at least five cases of his food products bound for China being completely destroyed because they were labeled as made in "Taiwan, China" (中國 台灣) instead of "Taiwan Area."
Lu said that during the previous KMT administration lead by president Ma Ying-jeou, the origin of production label was not so closely monitored and "Taiwan, China" was fine. However, now Chinese customs officials are very strict about including "Area" (地區) in the label, with the three nearby Fujian, China ports of Pingtan, Xiamen, and Dadeng being the scene of the most delays and destruction of Taiwanese products.
He said that for the Taiwanese producers the lack of having one word on the label can mean the loss of an entire shipment worth NT$3 million (US$101,000) to NT$4 million.
Lu lamented that doing business with China was always inherently risky, but this "one word difference" is now adding a really unfathomable multimillion dollar "political" risk to the equation.
Meanwhile, before the ship has left its dock in Taiwan, Taiwanese customs officials will not permit products labeled in this way to leave the port and a fine may be imposed. According to David Hsu (徐大衛), deputy director-general of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, products meant for export are only allowed to have one of the following three labels: "Made in R.O.C." (中華民國製造), "Made in Taiwan, R.O.C." (中華民國台灣製造) or "Made in Taiwan" (台灣製造).