By: CNA staff writer Elizabeth Hsu
Taiwan has always been wary of China’s efforts to annex it, especially as Beijing beefs up its military and maintains the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control.
But what Taiwan currently fears more than China’s missiles is the African swine fever (ASF) virus that has already spread to 23 of China’s 31 provinces and municipalities.
Since the first confirmed case of ASF infection in swine was reported in Liaoning Province in August, Taiwan has been on high alert, worried that an invasion of the extremely deadly virus could destroy a vital and valuable sector of the country’s economy — its pig-farming industry.
It has taken several unprecedented steps to keep ASF away from an industry that consists of 7,240 hog farms raising nearly 5.4 million pigs as of May and generates NT$80 billion (US$2.58 billion) in value directly and another NT$200 billion through peripheral businesses. [FULL STORY]