Indo-Pacific: China wants to join the Pacific Free Trade Agreements

China container ship

The inclusion of the People’s Republic of China in the FTA would be a huge boost.


(Photo: dpa)

Beijing, Tokyo China has applied for inclusion in the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement (CPTPP). Japan, which holds the presidency this year, has announced that it will discuss the request with other member states. Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Friday that it is necessary to determine whether China is ready to meet the very high standards of the CPTPP.

He did not give a timetable for the deliberations. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which took effect in 2018, has so far been signed by 11 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. The previous agreement was the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but it failed after the US withdrew in 2017 under then-President Donald Trump. The TPP was seen as an important economic balance to China’s growing regional influence.

Acceptance in the CPTPP will be a huge boost for the People’s Republic after it already signed the RCEP agreement with 14 other countries last year, one of the largest free trade areas in the world.

Great Britain has been negotiating to join the CPTPP since June. The United States is currently neither a member of the CPTPP nor the RCEP, but it is also trying to establish closer relations with the countries of the Pacific region. It wasn’t until Wednesday to present a new Indo-Pacific security agreement with Australia and Great Britain, to which China responded with sharp criticism.

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