Indo-Pacific: China seeks to join Pacific free trade agreements

Indo-Pacific: China seeks to join Pacific free trade agreements
container ship china

For the People’s Republic to join the free trade agreement, it would be a huge boost.

(Photo: DPA)

Beijing, Tokyo China has applied for inclusion in the Transpacific Free Trade Agreement (CPTPP). Japan, which is in the presidency this year, announced that it would discuss the application with other member states. Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Friday that it was necessary to determine whether China was prepared to meet the extremely high standards of the CPTPP.

He did not give any program for deliberation. The CPTPP, which came into force in 2018, has so far been signed by eleven countries including Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. The precursor was the TPP agreement, but it failed in 2017 after the US withdrew under then-President Donald Trump. The TPP was seen as a significant economic counterbalance to China’s growing regional influence.

The entry into the CPTPP will be a major boost for the People’s Republic as it signed RCEP agreements with 14 other countries last year, one of the world’s largest free trade zones.

Great Britain has been in talks to enter the CPTPP since June. The United States is currently neither a member of the CPTPP nor RCEP, but is also striving to establish closer ties with countries in the Pacific region. It was not until Wednesday that he presented a new Indo-Pacific security pact with Australia and Great Britain that China drew sharp criticism from.

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