China Applies for Trans-Pacific Trade Pact

China has filed an application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on Thursday.

The Chinese ministry said that Commerce Minister Wang Wentao submitted China’s application to join the free trade agreement in a letter to New Zealand’s trade minister Damien O’Connor.

Wentao also said that both ministers discussed the next steps following China’s application via a telephone conference.

Japan said it would have to evaluate if China meets the “extremely high standards” of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

As the CPTPP’s chair this year, Japanese Economy Minister Yasutoshi said it would consult with member countries to respond to China’s request, but stopped short of signaling a timeline for doing so.

The CPTPP was signed by 11 countries including Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, and New Zealand in 2018.

Previously, it was known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and seen as an important economic counterweight to China’s regional influence.


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