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US, Japan, and Canada support Taiwan pineapples amid China ban

Social media in Taiwan has been flooded with pineapple-related posts


Pineapples (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The de facto U.S., Japanese, and Canadian embassies in Taiwan all jumped on board to help promote Taiwan's pineapples Tuesday (Mar. 2), in response to a Chinese import ban on the fruit.

China suddenly announced on Feb. 26 that it would be banning pineapple imports from Taiwan starting March 1 over alleged pest fears. The decision is viewed in Taiwan as being politically motivated, a charge that Beijing has denied.

The American Institute in Taiwan posted several pictures of pineapples in and around their Neihu office complex on Facebook, with the hashtags #realfriendsrealprogress and #pineapplesolidarity adding, “Have you bought your pineapples? We have!” One of the pictures also showed AIT Director Brent Christensen with three on his desk.

Meanwhile, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association also took to Facebook to show Japanese representative Izumi Hiroyasu (泉裕泰) and other staff enjoying pineapples sent to them from Tainan’s Guanmiao District. The de facto Japanese embassy also mentioned their head chef is working on recipes that showcase the fruit and asked Taiwanese netizens for suggestions.

The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) posted a photo on Facebook of Executive Director Jordan Reeves with staff members posing around two Hawaiian pizzas and two pineapples with the message, “At CTOT we love pineapples on our pizza, especially Taiwanese pineapples!” The post also gave a hat tip to Canadian chef Sam Panopoulos, who invented the Hawaiian pizza in 1962, in Chatham, Ontario.

Since the pineapple ban was announced, Taiwanese politicians and citizens have flooded social media with pineapple-related posts, encouraging people to buy and eat the tropical fruit in order to support local farmers.

Taiwan, on average, produces about 420,000 tons of pineapples every year, with exports accounting for roughly 12 percent of the total output in 2019 and 10.8 percent in 2020, according to the Council of Agriculture (COA). In 2020, 97 percent of exported pineapples went to China, 2 percent went to Japan, and 1 percent went to Hong Kong.