TAIPEI: Taiwan has applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). China also submitted the applications a few days back and Taiwan believes that if China gets entry first then Taiwan’s joining could be compromised.
The China-Taiwan dispute is long-running, Taiwan recognizes itself as an independent democratic nation but China claims it as a breakaway province.
Taiwan’s chief trade negotiator John Deng told reporters on Thursday that if China joins the CPTPP first, “Taiwan’s case to become a member will be at risk, this is fairly obvious”.
Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi welcomed Taiwan’s application to join the pact. Approval of all 11 members is needed for new countries to become a member of the pact. The initial founding ground of CPTPP was to counter China’s Influence, but the founding member US left the Pact during Donald Trump’s Presidential Tenure.
China has been known to insist on keeping Taiwan from joining international bodies and pacts under the pretense of calling Taiwan a part of China. Due to this, Taiwan sometimes joins with different names in different events, in Olympic games, Taiwan teams compete under the name of Chinese Taipei in Olympics.
Initially called as Trans-Pacific Partnership, the pact was promoted by then-President Barack Obama as an economic bloc to counter China’s strong and increasing position in the Asia Pacific. After the US pulled out of the pact under Donald Trump’s Presidency, Japan took charge to lead what is now knowns as CPTPP.
The current CPTPP pact was signed in 2018 by 11 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. It is one of the largest of its kind, linking a wide number of countries across the region.