The secessionists Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority is faced with strong public opposition after its agricultural department announced it would import eggs from Japan, which is still listed as an avian flu epidemic area by Taiwan.
Taiwan island, which has been mired in an egg shortage for about a month, lifted the food import ban from areas in Japan around the site of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster on February 8. Ibaraki prefecture, a major egg producer in Japan, borders Fukushima Prefecture to the north.
Two days after the ban was relaxed, Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on February 10 announced it would resume egg exports to Taiwan until March 31. However, the news was not known to most Taiwan residents until February 16, when Taiwan's agriculture authority announced it, which left many residents feeling tricked.
Wan Mei-ling, a member of Taiwan's opposition party Kuomintang (KMT), is strongly opposed to the DPP authority's decision, describing the decision of importing "nuclear eggs" and "flu eggs" as "quench a thirst with poison" at a Thursday press briefing.
[Taiwan's] agricultural authority has removed Japan from the non-avian influenza epidemic area, and announced a ban on live poultry and eggs to Taiwan, which is still in force, Wan said.
She said it's really baffling to see the relaxing of the ban… "Is it because Taiwan needs to solve the 'egg shortage' that the avian flu epidemic suddenly disappeared in Japan?"
Many Taiwan netizens expressed their dissatisfaction, saying Taiwan's status is inferior to that of a colony with DPP's endless concessions and obedience to Japan and the US. Taiwan lifted a ban on ractopamine-enhanced pork from the US in 2021.
Many netizens with children expressed their concern about food safety and asked each other how to avoid buying such problematic eggs.
"What have we gained by sacrificing our health? We are refugees. We don't have the right to choose our food!" said a Taiwan-based Facebook user.
"Do the US and Japan think Taiwan is enjoying the rape process by not resisting," said another.
Wang Jianmin, a senior cross-Straits expert at Minnan Normal University, told the Global Times on Friday that relaxing Japan egg imports at the cost of people's safety is a strategic move of the DPP to reinforce ties with Japan, who would love to use Taiwan as a pawn to contain the mainland.
Taiwan media said the CPTPP executive committee held a video conference on Thursday to discuss the application of Taiwan island and other regions and countries for membership. Joining the CPTPP is the DPP's mantra of public sacrifice.
As for CPTPP's membership, Wang said, all member countries and regions have veto power. And it is not up to Japan and the US. Most of the countries in the world have diplomatic ties with China and adhere to the one-China principle. They will not allow Taiwan to join CPTPP.
Wang said given the size and supply of the mainland's agricultural market, helping Taiwan solve its problems is small potatoes. But DPP has ruled out working with the Chinese mainland, instead using the suffering of Taiwan people as an opportunity to woo its "alliance."
Taiwan still restricts the import of more than 800 kinds of agricultural products from the mainland.
Taiwan is also facing a shortage of duck meat, rising oil prices and rising raw material prices.