TAIPEI, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Taiwan has formally applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP), the official Central News Agency said on Wednesday, less than a week after China said it also she had filed an application with Me
Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua will provide details on Thursday, the agency quoted Deputy Economy Minister Chen Chern-chyi as saying.
He gave no further details and had no immediate comment from the Ministry of Economy.
Wang last week expressed concern about China’s “sudden” decision to apply to join it, and said she hoped it would not affect the island’s application itself. Read more
Taiwan has already discussed the issue informally with existing members of the bloc.
The original 12-member agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), was seen as a significant economic counterweight to China’s growing influence.
But the TPP was thrown into oblivion in early 2017 when then-US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the pact.
The group, called CPTPP, currently connects Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Britain is also keen to join the trans-Pacific trade agreement, and negotiations began in June.
Taiwan has been expelled from many international bodies because of China’s insistence that it be part of “one China” and not a separate country. China sees Taiwan as its territory.
But Taiwan is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group.
Taiwan is outraged by recent progress towards trade deals with the United States and the European Union, who are frustrated by China’s lack of progress in opening up its economy and eager to show their support for Taiwan’s democracy, and much cheaper market policies.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Edited by Andrew Heavens and Gareth Jones
Our standards: Principles of Trust by Thomson Reuters.
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