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Thursday, October 21, 2021

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

TAIPEI – China’s embargo practices present fundamental problems for joining a major Pan-Pacific Free Trade Agreement, and if it joins before Taiwan, there is a risk of blocking their application, the island’s economy minister said.

Both Taiwan and China applied for a comprehensive and progressive agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) last month, but China has said it opposes Taiwan’s accession.

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

Taiwan’s Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua told Reuters in an interview on Thursday night: “If China enters first, they are at risk of disrupting Taiwan. “Anything Taiwan joins, they oppose.”

The Chinese government says it has the right to represent the 2.5.5 million people of Taiwan in international organizations without claiming the island to be an independent state.

Beijing has a myriad of problems, ranging from Internet censorship to labor rights, which raises questions about whether the CPTPP can reach high standards, he said, adding that these requirements are ready to “challenge China’s basic system.”

“If China can change that, I think it’s not a bad thing to change this system and then enter into (trade agreements). But the prerequisite is why they can enter CPTPP if this system is not changed? It’s a problem I don’t really understand, “he added.

“Look at their information – nothing can enter. Can’t access Facebook, can’t access Google.

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

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But the TPP collapsed in early 2015 when then-US President Donald Trump withdrew from the United States.

Named the CPTPP, the group includes Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Taiwan, a major semiconductor manufacturer, has applied to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to join the name used in the separate tariffs of Taiwan, Pengu, Kinmen and Matsu. Taiwan is a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Group.

Wang said Taiwan was not aware of any CPTPP member objecting to their application, especially in contrast to the concerns that Japan had expressed in the Chinese tender.

“In the very short time we have submitted a written application, we have not heard of any member opposing it, such as after China applied, when some countries raised it.”

Taiwan has been curious about free trade agreements with other countries, especially other democracies. Wang said if it joins, there will be no need to enter into a separate agreement with Australia, or with fellow CPTPP applicant Britain.

Negotiations for accession to the WTO have been going on for more than a decade, Wang said, adding that he did not think the CPTPP would take so long, but added that it was difficult to give a timetable.

“I think if the political barrier is reduced as much as possible, I don’t believe the negotiations will continue for decades.”

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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