Sunday, October 17, 2021

Taiwan questions China’s suitability for Pacific trade deal, fears ‘bottleneck’

TAIPEI—China’s restrictive practices present fundamental problems for its application to join a major pan-Pacific free trade agreement, and there is a risk that it could block their application if it joins before Taiwan. is, the island’s economy minister said.

Both Taiwan and China applied last month to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), but China says it opposes Taiwan’s joining.

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

“If China enters first, there is certainly a risk of disrupting Taiwan,” Taiwan’s Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua told Reuters in an interview late Thursday. “Taiwan is getting involved in anything, they protest.”

The Chinese regime says it has the right to represent Taiwan’s 23.5 million people in international bodies, even though the island claims it is an independent country.

Beijing has a range of issues, from Internet censorship to labor rights, that question whether it can reach the CPTPP’s high standards, he said, adding that those requirements were set to “challenge China’s fundamental systems”. Is.

“If China can change these, I think it is not a bad thing to change this system and then enter into (trade treaty). But the condition is that if this arrangement does not change then why can they enter the CPTPP? It’s an issue I really don’t understand,” she said.

“See their information – nothing can enter. Facebook can’t login, Google can’t,” Wang said, referring to the blocking of both major sites by the Chinese communist regime, in the name of national security. It does for many Western Internet firms, including Twitter.

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The original 12-member agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), was seen as an important economic countermeasure to the growing influence of the Chinese regime.

But the TPP was thrown into limbo in early 2017 when then-US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States.

The group, which was renamed the CPTPP, connects Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Taiwan, a major semiconductor producer, has applied to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) under the same name used – the separate customs regions of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. Taiwan is also a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Group.

Wang said Taiwan is not aware that any members of the CPTPP have objected to his application, while Japan has specifically expressed concerns about China’s bid.

“At least after we submitted the written application, we did not hear any member protest, as not after China’s application, when some countries brought it up.”

Taiwan has been inclined to free trade deals with other countries, especially other democracies. Wang said that if he joins, he would not need a separate agreement with Australia or fellow CPTPP applicant Britain.

While negotiations for WTO accession lasted more than a decade, Wang said he did not think the CPTPP would take that long, but said it was difficult to give a timetable.

“I think that if political barriers can be reduced as much as possible, I don’t think talks will last for decades.”

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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