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China could join TPP, says ministry
May 31, 2013, 9:41 am


China has been backing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations [Xinhua]

China will study the possibility of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, a ministry of commerce (MOC) spokesman said on Thursday.

“We will analyse the advantages, disadvantages and the possibility of joining the TPP, based on careful research and according to principles of equality and mutual benefit,” said MOC spokesman Shen Danyang.

The TPP is a proposed free trade agreement being discussed by 12 nations including the US, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan.

“China also hopes to exchange information and materials with TPP members on the negotiations,” according to the spokesman.

The US approach to securing trade agreements in Asia may have garnered one paragraph in Obama’s state of the union speech in February, but Washington’s support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is seen aligned with its “pivot to Asia” strategy.

A major point of scepticism, some analysts say, is that the TPP appears to have a political agenda which the US has not yet made clear.

Some countries are troubled that the TPP could be used to rebalance Asia against China’s rising influence.

China has instead been backing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations which would include all 10 ASEAN member states and the six FTA partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, India, New Zealand and Australia, at the initial stage.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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