Friday, October 15, 2021

In Beijing’s Battle with Taipei, 11 Pacific Trade Treaty Countries Will Decide the Winner

Two officials from the Taiwan Strait applied to join a trans-Pacific trade agreement. The Beijing side tried to obstruct Taiwan’s application, while Taipei defended its right to join the regional agreement.

On 22 September, the Chinese regime sent 24 warplanes to the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), which was understood as a threat to apply pressure against Taiwan’s involvement. The Taiwanese government reiterated its willingness to get involved despite Beijing’s threats and said it would not give up.

Can China and Taiwan finally join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)?

Decisions will be made by the 11 CPTPP member states, which include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Each of them will have informal engagement with the applicants before being decided. Applicants may join a business partnership only after obtaining the approval of all member states.

“It’s a complicated battle. … In general, Taiwan meets and deserves high CPTPP requirements, but it is a de facto independent country. … China cannot meet the requests and does not qualify at all Fang Chongyi, a professor of China Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, told The Epoch Times on 23 September.

However, as the world’s second largest economy, China has made an impact in some developing countries. “It is possible that some CPTPP member states fear Chinese rule and reject Taiwan,” Fang said.

The Chinese government claims the self-governing island of Taiwan as its own, despite the fact that Taiwan is a de facto independent country with its own military, democratically elected government and constitution.

Taiwan
Taiwanese sailors salute the flag of the island on the deck of the Panshih supply ship after participating in the annual exercise at Tsoeying Naval Base in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on January 31, 2018. (Mandy Cheng/AFP via Getty Images)

The fight to join the CPTPP began with the Chinese regime submitting its application to join on 16 September. Six days later, the Taiwanese government announced its application, which met with opposition from Beijing.

“China strongly opposes all official negotiations with Taiwan, strongly rejects Taiwan’s accession to any agreement or organization of an official nature. China’s position on this issue is clear,” said China’s foreign ministry. spokesman Zhao Lijian said on 23 September.

On the same day, the Chinese regime sent 24 warplanes into Taiwan airspace, the largest such provocation for September. Since then, Beijing has continued to send warplanes to Taiwan AFIZ on a daily basis. On 27 September, five Chinese aircraft entered the Taiwan AFIZ.

“Taiwan has been willing to join the CPTPP for years,” Yen Huai-shing, deputy director of the Taiwan Chung Hua Institution for Economic Research, told The Epoch Times on September 23. She said Taiwan has worked to amend its respective rules and policies over the years to meet the standards of the CPTPP. Now, it wants to get into the trade deal.

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Taiwan’s chief trade negotiator John Deng told reporters in Taipei on 23 September: “How China comments on it is a matter for them … I insist that Taiwan is a sovereign, independent nation.”

Deng explained that Taiwan has applied to join the CPTPP under the name “Separate Customs Area of ​​Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu”, which is the name the island uses in the World Trade Organization and “at least less controversial”.

J-16 Fighter Aircraft
J-16 Fighter Aircraft
A Chinese PLA J-16 fighter plane takes off over an undisclosed location in a file photo. (Taiwan Defense Ministry via AP)

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In the past, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States have expressed their support for Taiwan to join a regional trade agreement.

“Australia will work in accordance with the CPTPP accession guidelines to consider Taiwan’s application on a consensus basis with CPTPP membership,” Australia’s Trade Minister Dan Tehan told The Australian on 24 September.

A week ago, Tehan said the Chinese regime should halt its trade coercion against Australia if it wants Canberra to approve its CPTPP application.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters in New York on September 23 that Japan welcomes Taiwan’s application to join the CPTPP. Motegi said Taiwan shares core values ​​such as the rule of law with Japan and is a “very important partner of Japan”.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price answered questions about Taiwan and China’s CPTPP applications at a September 24 briefing at foreign press centers. The United States is no longer a member of the CPTPP after withdrawing from the earlier agreement in 2017. .

“We would expect China’s non-market trade practices and China’s economic pressure against other countries to be used as potential candidates for evaluation of the parties to the CPTPP,” Price said. “We would expect that Taiwan’s record as a responsible member of the WTO and Taiwan’s strong embrace of democratic values ​​will lead to an evaluation of Taiwan by the parties of the CPTPP as a potential candidate for accession.”

Nicole Hao

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Nicole Hao is a Washington-based reporter focused on China-related topics. Prior to joining Epoch Media Group in July 2009, he worked as a Global Product Manager for a railway business in Paris, France.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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