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Taiwan fruit arrives in mainland
Updated: 2005-05-16 09:04

First batch of fruit from Taiwan arrived at Mawei port in east China's Fujian Province Sunday morning in the wake of visits to the Chinese mainland by Lien Chan,chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) or the Nationalist Party, and James CY Soong, chairman of the People First Party (PFP) in Taiwan.

Quarantine officials examine pineapples from Taiwan at the Mawei port in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province May 15, 2005. [newsphoto]

Customs clearance for the three containers carrying 33 tons of fruit from Taiwan was done in a matter of just three hours at Mawei port. "Everything went on very smoothly," said an official surnamed Lin with Tianshun Trading Company of Fujian, which is held responsible for handling custom procedures required for the Taiwan fruit.

"All relevant departments are very cooperative in the process of customs clearance," acknowledged Lin.

Lien Chan, chairman of Kuomintang (KMT), or the Chinese Nationalist Party, led a delegation and had a historic trip to mainland from April 26 through to May 3. It is the first time thatLien personally set foot on the mainland soil since he left in 1945, and also the first-ever visit by a KMT chairman to the mainland in 56 years, ushering in a new stage for the relations between the KMT and the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Lien was followed by James CY Soong, chairman of the People First Party (PFP) in Taiwan, who also headed a mission visiting the Chinese mainland from May 5-13.

The fruit, which includes pineapples, lemon, tangerines, mango,bananas, grapefruits and guavas, are imported by Chaoda Modern Agriculture Group of Fujian. Some of the fruit will be shown to visitors at the imminent 7th economic and trade fair across the Taiwan Straits scheduled to open Wednesday.

Kuang Qiao, deputy president of Chaoda Modern Agriculture Groupof Fujian, said nine kinds of the fruit imported by the group belonged to the 18 fruit species with expanded mainland market access promised by Chinese mainland authorities after the Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan's visit to the Chinese mainland on May 3.

"The nine kinds of fruit will soon reach six main stores in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, and local residents can treat themselves with these fruits from southern Taiwan," said Kuang.

Chen Yunlin, director of the Taiwan Work Office of Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, announced on May 3 that the Chinese mainland decided to increase the access of fruit from Taiwan to 18 species from the previously 12, and to offer zero tariff to at least 10 species of fruits from the Taiwan.

On behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, Chen made the announcement on May 3, the last day of the eight-daymainland tour by a Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) delegation led by LienChan.

"The mainland is also ready to provide convenience in terms of customs pass, inspection and quarantine for Taiwan fruit to enter the mainland market," Chen said.

Cheng Jiyuan, head of Mawei Customshouse, said the Taiwan fruitarrived at the weekend, but the fruit had higher fresh-keep standards, so they simplified the customs clearance procedures by doing the customs pass directly at the warehouse, which helped shorten the time for customs clearance.

Officials with Mawei bureau of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine said their services for farm produce from Taiwan were around the clock.

Relevant mainland departments are taking effective measures to execute zero tariff to at least 10 species of fruits from Taiwan.

However, at present, prices of fruit from Taiwan remain high onthe Chinese mainland market.

Kuang Qiao, deputy president with Chaoda Modern Agriculture Group of Fujian, importer of the first batch of Taiwan fruit, saidfarmers and their associations in Taiwan were very active in selling their fruits to the mainland market.

"Landing of the Taiwan fruit in Mawei this time has won supportof many farmers' associations in southern Taiwan and trading firmsof agricultural products in Taipei," said Kuang, who said fruits from Taiwan was highly complementary with those produced in the Chinese mainland.

"I think prospects are bright for Taiwan fruit which targets atthe high-end market on the mainland," Kuang said.

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