Apple has asked suppliers to ensure that shipments from Taiwan to China strictly comply with Chinese customs regulations after a recent visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan stoked fears of rising trade barriers.
Apple told suppliers on Friday that China has started strictly enforcing a long-standing rule that Taiwanese-made parts and components must be labeled as being made either in “Taiwan, China” or “Chinese Taipei,” sources familiar with the matter told Nikkei Asia, language that indicates the island is part of China.
The U.S. tech titan urged suppliers to treat the matter with urgency to avoid possible disruptions caused by goods and components being held for scrutiny, the people said.
Using the phrase “Made in Taiwan” on any import declaration forms, documents or cartons could cause shipments to be held and checked by Chinese customs, the sources added. Penalties for violating such a rule is a fine of up to 4,000 yuan ($592) or, in the worst-case scenario, the shipment being rejected, one of the sources said.
Apple’s warning comes after shipments from Taiwan to one of iPhone assembler Pegatron’s facilities in China were held for review on Thursday to see if the import declaration form or cartons are labeled with “Taiwan” or “Republic of China.”
Beijing has long viewed Taiwan as a part of its territory and is strongly opposed to senior U.S. officials such as House Speaker Pelosi making formal diplomatic visits to the island.
MacDailyNews Take: For the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Michael J. Green and Bonnie S. Glaser, explain the United States’ “One China” policy:
When the United States moved to recognize the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and de-recognize the Republic of China (ROC) in 1979, the United States stated that the government of the People’s Republic of China was “the sole legal Government of China.” Sole, meaning the PRC was and is the only China, with no consideration of the ROC as a separate sovereign entity.
The United States did not, however, give in to Chinese demands that it recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan (which is the name preferred by the United States since it opted to de-recognize the ROC). Instead, Washington acknowledged the Chinese position that Taiwan was part of China. For geopolitical reasons, both the United States and the PRC were willing to go forward with diplomatic recognition despite their differences on this matter. When China attempted to change the Chinese text from the original acknowledge to recognize, Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher told a Senate hearing questioner, “[W]e regard the English text as being the binding text. We regard the word ‘acknowledge’ as being the word that is determinative for the U.S.” In the August 17, 1982, U.S.-China Communique, the United States went one step further, stating that it had no intention of pursuing a policy of “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan.”
To this day, the U.S. “one China” position stands: the United States recognizes the PRC as the sole legal government of China but only acknowledges the Chinese position that Taiwan is part of China. Thus, the United States maintains formal relations with the PRC and has unofficial relations with Taiwan. The “one China” policy has subsequently been reaffirmed by every new incoming U.S. administration. The existence of this understanding has enabled the preservation of stability in the Taiwan Strait, allowing both Taiwan and mainland China to pursue their extraordinary political and socioeconomic transitions in relative peace.
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