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China Moves Closer to the CPTPP

3 54 6
22.09.2021

China has officially launched its bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). On Sept. 16, Beijing filed its formal application to become part of the 11-member trade pact—whose members include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam—by sending a notification to New Zealand’s trade minister, the designated CPTPP member who serves as the repository for administrative matters.

The signs that this was coming have been building for a while.

At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit last November, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing was giving “positive consideration” to the agreement. Meanwhile, over the past year, Chinese officials have been consulting with select CPTPP members while studying the detailed provisions at home.

China has officially launched its bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). On Sept. 16, Beijing filed its formal application to become part of the 11-member trade pact—whose members include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam—by sending a notification to New Zealand’s trade minister, the designated CPTPP member who serves as the repository for administrative matters.

The signs that this was coming have been building for a while.

At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit last November, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing was giving “positive consideration” to the agreement. Meanwhile, over the past year, Chinese officials have been consulting with select CPTPP members while studying the detailed provisions at home.

The timing of the announcement, however, was largely unexpected. Many trade officials had anticipated that Beijing would carefully watch developments in the United Kingdom’s CPTPP accession process, which recently started, before formally stepping forward. It was also assumed that Beijing would follow London’s example and take time to line up support from current CPTPP members so that its announcement would be met with positive responses. While Malaysia and Singapore have been welcoming to China, reaction from others has been muted at best.

It’s not entirely clear what motivated China to move now. Some have speculated that the CPTPP application was a response to the announcement the previous day of the Australia-U.K.-U.S. security partnership, but Beijing quickly denied such a link. Perhaps China wanted to forestall any possibility that Taiwan would get on the CPTPP wagon. Or, with entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic........

© Foreign Policy


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