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Taiwan, wanting to join Pacific trade pact, questions China’s ‘sudden’ application By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A Taiwanese flag swings in the breeze in Taoyuan (Taiwan), June 30, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s economy minister expressed concern on Friday about China’s “sudden” decision to apply to join the Comprehensive and Progressive (NYSE:) Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and said it hoped it did not affect the island’s application.

China submitted a request to be a member of the free trade arrangement in a letter addressed to Damien O’Connor (New Zealand’s Trade Minister).

Taiwan’s Economy Minister Wang Meihua said that China had applied for the free trade agreement “suddenly”.

She said that many of China’s policies in recent times were against the principles of free economic growth and lack transparency. China might not be able reach the CPTPP’s high standards.

She said that they also encounter friction with certain CPTPP members.

Wang stated that Taiwan had been working to become a member of the CPTPP, and believes this will occur when conditions allow.

We’ll be paying close attention to the reaction of other member nations to China’s application, and we hope that it doesn’t impact our application to become a member.

China considers Taiwan its territory. It will be unhappy if Taipei joins the grouping.

Trans-Pacific Partnership, the original 12 member agreement (now known as TPP), was seen as an economic counterweight against China’s increasing influence.

TPP’s fate was changed by the withdrawal of Donald Trump, then President of the United States.

CPTPP is a group that links Canada, Australia. Brunei. Chile, Japan. Malaysia. New Zealand. Peru. Singapore.

Britain is also keen to join the trans-Pacific trade deal and in June began negotiations.

China insists that Taiwan is part of the “one China” group and not a country. This is why Taiwan has been excluded from numerous international organizations.

However, Taiwan is a member the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation(APEC).

The recent developments in trade agreements with the United States of America and the European Union have encouraged Taiwan. These countries, both dissatisfied with China’s slow progress in opening their economies, are eager to express support for Taiwan’s democracy as well as its freer market policies.

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