China applies to join Pacific trade pact to boost economic clout By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chinese language Commerce Minister Wang Wentao attends a State Council Data Workplace information convention in Beijing, China February 24, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins


BEIJING (Reuters) -China has filed an utility to affix the Complete and Progressive (NYSE:) Settlement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the commerce ministry mentioned, because the world’s second-biggest economic system appears to bolster its clout in commerce.

Commerce Minister Wang Wentao submitted China’s utility to affix the free commerce settlement in a letter to New Zealand’s commerce minister, Damien O’Connor, the Chinese language ministry mentioned in an announcement late on Thursday.

The CPTPP was signed by 11 nations together with Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan and New Zealand in 2018.

Earlier than that, it was generally known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and seen as an necessary financial counterweight to China’s regional affect.

Japan, the CPTPP’s chair this yr, mentioned it would seek the advice of with member nations to answer China’s request, however stopped in need of signalling a timeline for doing so.

“Japan believes that it’s a necessity to find out whether or not China, which submitted a request to affix the TPP-11, is able to meet its extraordinarily excessive requirements,” Japanese Financial system Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura instructed reporters on Friday.

The TPP was central to former U.S. President Barack Obama’s strategic pivot to Asia however his successor, Donald Trump, withdrew the US from the pact in 2017.

Accession to the CPTPP could be a significant enhance for China following the signing of the 15-nation Regional Complete Financial Partnership (RCEP) free commerce settlement final yr.

Beijing has lobbied for its inclusion within the pact, together with by highlighting that the Chinese language and Australian economies have huge potential for cooperation. Nevertheless, relations between the 2 nations have soured.

Britain in June started negotiations to enter the commerce pact, whereas Thailand has additionally signalled curiosity in becoming a member of it.

Wang and O’Connor held a phone convention to debate the subsequent steps following China’s utility, the Chinese language Ministry of Commerce mentioned.

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