《TAIPEI TIMES》 China’s farming sector helped by KMT: lawmaker
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei holds a news conference in Taipei yesterday, accusing the previous Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） administration of allowing farming techniques to be exported to China. Photo: Chien Hui-ju, Taipei Times
BEARING FRUIT: Two former ministers of agriculture took their knowledge of Taiwanese-developed processes to China, a DPP legislator said
By Jason Pan, Yang Yuan-ting and Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporters
The previous Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） administration helped export Taiwan’s agricultural know-how to China, Democratic Progressive Party （DPP） Legislator Chen Ting-fei （陳亭妃） said yesterday.
After China on Friday last week abruptly announced that starting from Monday it would suspend imports of pineapples from Taiwan, Chen on Tuesday said the ban was a result of the KMT working with China.
Soon after the ban was announced, Chinese state-run media started promoting pineapples grown in Guangdong Province, including Taiwanese-developed golden diamond pineapples.
At a news conference in Taipei yesterday, Chen said that the flow of farming and fruit production knowledge from Taiwan to China was facilitated by KMT officials, and had intensified during former president Ma Ying-jeou’s （馬英九） administration from 2008 to 2016.
“During those years, many KMT officials frequently traveled to China for trade, helping China with new farming methods,” Chen said, describing KMT officials as “compradors.”
Former ministers of agriculture Paul Sun （孫明賢） and Chen Bao-ji （陳保基） played key roles in helping China, Chen Ting-fei said.
Sun headed the Council of Agriculture from 1992 to 1996, while Chen Bao-ji was in office from 2012 to 2016.
Working with KMT politicians, the Chinese government started the Taiwan Farmers Pioneers Park （台灣農民創業園） program in 2005, which offered Taiwanese farmers low-interest loans, inexpensive land and other favorable terms to take their skills, seeds and knowledge to China, Chen Ting-fei said.
Under Ma’s administration, the pioneer park expanded from four to 25 sites across 12 provinces, she said.
Sun took Chen Bao-ji on numerous trips to visit the sites and provide consultation, she added.
In addition to golden diamond pineapples developed by the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute in 1998, KMT figures have passed on other Taiwanese-cultivated and refined fruits to China, including mangoes, dragon fruits and black pearl wax apples, she said.
Ma’s administration promoted closer agricultural ties with China, and his government took the lead in encouraging businesspeople and agricultural workers to work in China, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng （羅秉成） said separately yesterday.
By contrast, President Tsai Ing-wen’s （蔡英文） administration has been working to diversify agricultural sales by exploring new markets, he said.
While the public is concerned about the effects of China’s abrupt pineapple ban, the government should consider if it could take legal action to prevent similar incidents from occurring, Lo said.
Chen Bao-ji yesterday said that Chen Ting-fei should specify which species and techniques he had helped export to China.
Regarding the pineapple ban, he said that the issue should not be politicized, but treated as related to biosafety and trade negotiations.
Chen Ting-fei should not attack Sun, who served as an ambassador-at-large during the administration of former president Chen Shui-bian （陳水扁）, he added.
Sun died in 2018.
The KMT on Wednesday wrote on Facebook that there was no evidence to support Chen Ting-fei’s claims, calling it a smear campaign.
Citing a 2005 news report, the KMT said that a Mainland Affairs Council report at the time had shown that the nation’s agricultural technology was flowing to China during Chen Shui-bian’s administration.
The KMT added that the government had taken action during Ma’s administration to protect Taiwanese agricultural technology, including the establishment in 2011 of an agricultural intellectual property rights council.