Policemen in front of the US Embassy in Beijing on Wednesday. AFP
China rolled out curbs on Wednesday on the import of fruit and fish from Taiwan while halting shipments of sand to the island in the wake of a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
More than 20 Chinese military planes flew into Taiwan's air defence zone on Tuesday, officials in Taipei said, as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi began her controversial visit to the self-ruled island that Beijing considers its territory.
The island's defence ministry said in a statement on Twitter: "21 PLA aircraft ... entered #Taiwan's southwest ADIZ on August 2, 2022," referring to the air defence identification zone.
The ADIZ is not the same as Taiwan's territorial airspace but includes a far greater area that overlaps with part of China's own air defence identification zone and even includes some of the mainland.
The trip by Pelosi, who is second in line to the presidency and the highest-profile elected US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years, has ignited a diplomatic firestorm.
She landed in Taiwan late on Tuesday in the wake of increasingly stark warnings from China, which considers the island a part of its territory to one day be reclaimed, by force if necessary.
China's Customs Administration said on Wednesday it would suspend some citrus fruits and fish imports from Taiwan over alleged "repeated" detection of excessive pesticide residue and positive coronavirus tests on packages.
In a separate notice, the Commerce Ministry added it would also "suspend the export of natural sand to Taiwan" from Wednesday, without providing details.
Customers buy fruit at a stall in Taipei, Taiwan. File/AP
It is not the first time Beijing has taken aim at Taiwan's exports.
China banned pineapple imports from the island in March 2021, citing the discovery of pests, in a move that was widely seen as politically driven.
Beijing has ramped up pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016, as she views the island as a de facto sovereign nation and not part of "one China".
On top of the latest bans, Taipei's Council of Agriculture said on Tuesday that China had cited regulatory breaches in suspending the import of other Taiwanese goods, including fishery products, tea and honey.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities also announced planned live-fire military drills encircling Taiwan, in a move Taipei's defence ministry said threatened the island's key ports and urban areas.
At some points, the zone of Chinese operations will come within 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) of Taiwan's shoreline, according to coordinates shared by the People's Liberation Army.
Taiwan's 23 million people have long lived with the possibility of an invasion, but that threat has intensified under current President Xi Jinping, China's most assertive leader in a generation.