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China’s Options for Punishing Taiwan Economically are Limited


In retaliation for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week, China conducted large-scale military exercises around the self-governing island democracy and suspended some trade between the sides.The exercises led to a few shipping disruptions, but they did not affect traffic at Taiwanese or Chinese ports, analysts say. And the trade bans were notable mainly for what they did not target: Taiwan’s increasingly powerful semiconductor industry, a crucial supplier to Chinese manufacturers.The bans that Beijing did impose — on exports of its natural sand to Taiwan, and on imports of all Taiwanese citrus fruits and two types of fish — were hardly an existential threat to the island off its southern coast that it claims as Chinese territory.“China’s ban on citrus didn’t really affect us,” said Syu Man, a manager for a fruit exporter in southern Taiwan that ships a type of pomelo across East Asia, primarily to Japan. “We don’t depend on the Chinese market.”China is Taiwan’s largest trading partner, yet Beijing’s options for punishing the island’s ec …

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