Eleven Pacific Trade Agreements Determine Winners in Beijing’s Battle of Taipei

Two authorities in the Straits of Taiwan have applied for participation in a Pacific Rim trade agreement. The Beijing side tried to thwart Taiwan’s application, but Taipei defended the rights included in the regional agreement.

On September 22, the Chinese administration sent 24 fighters to the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). This was understood as a threat to the inclusion of Taiwan. The Taiwanese government has repeatedly stated that it will not give up despite the threat of Beijing.

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

This decision is made by 11 CPTPP member countries, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Each of them has an informal relationship with the applicant before making their decision. Applicants can only participate in trade partnerships with the approval of all Member States.

“This is a complex battle …. In general, Taiwan meets high CPTPP requirements and is qualified, but virtually an independent country …. China cannot meet the demands and is not qualified at all.” Feng Chongyi, a professor of Chinese studies at the Sydney Institute of Technology, told the Daiki Jiho on September 23.

However, as the world’s second largest economy, China has influenced some developing countries. “Some CPTPP member states may reject Taiwan for fear of China’s administration,” Feng said.

The Chinese administration claims Taiwan’s autonomous islands as its own, despite the fact that Taiwan is a de facto independent country with its own military, democratically elected government, and constitution. doing.

On January 31, 2018, Taiwanese sailors salute the island flag on the deck of the Panshih supply ship after participating in an annual training session at the Tsoying Naval Base in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. (MandyCheng / AFP via Getty Images)

The battle to participate in the CPTPP began with the Chinese administration submitting an application for participation on September 16. Six days later, the Taiwanese government announced the application, causing resistance from Beijing.

“China firmly opposes all formal exchanges with Taiwan and strongly refuses Taiwan’s accession to an agreement or organization of formal nature. China’s position on this issue is clear,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. Zhao Lijian, a spokesman, said on September 23.

On the same day, the Chinese administration sent 24 fighters into Taiwan’s airspace, the largest provocation on a September scale.Since then, Beijing has continued to send Warplane Every day in Taiwan AFIZ. On September 27, five Chinese aircraft entered Taiwan AFIZ.

“Taiwan is ready to participate in the CPTPP for years,” said Yen Huai-shing, deputy director of the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research. Said The Epoch Times on September 23. She said Taiwan worked to revise relevant rules and policies over the past few years to meet the CPTPP standards. Now it is about to join a trade agreement.

Taiwan’s head of trade negotiations, John Den, told reporters in Taipei on September 23:

Mr. Chung applied for participation in the CPTPP under the name “Taiwan, Penghu, Jinmen, Matsu no Taiyu Jinma Ryo”, which is the “most indisputable” name used by Taiwan in the World Trade Organization. I explained.

J-16 fighter
A J-16 fighter of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army flies in a private location in the file photo. (Taiwan Ministry of Defense via AP)

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

“Australia will work with the CPTPP membership to consider Taiwan’s application on a consensus basis in accordance with the CPTPP accession guidelines,” said Australian Trade Minister Dantehan. Said Australian on September 24th.

A week ago, Mr Taehan said the Chinese administration would have to stop trade coercion against Australia if it wanted Canberra to approve the CPTPP application.

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi Said On September 23, a New York reporter said Japan would welcome Taiwan’s application for participation in the CPTPP. Mr. Mogi said that Taiwan shares basic values ​​such as the rule of law with Japan and is “a very important partner of Japan.”

US State Department spokesman Edward Price also answered questions about the Taiwanese and Chinese CPTPP applications at a briefing at the Foreign Press Center on September 24th. The United States has not been a member of the CPTPP since it withdrew from the previous agreement in 2017. ..

“China’s non-market trade practices and the use of China’s economic coercion against other countries are expected to affect the evaluation of CPTPP parties as potential candidates for accession.” Price Said.. “Taiwan’s record as a responsible member of the World Trade Organization and its strong acceptance of Taiwan’s democratic values ​​are expected to take into account Taiwan’s reputation as a candidate for membership by the CPTPP Parties.”

Nicole Hao


Nicole Hao is a Washington-based reporter focused on topics related to China. Prior to joining the Epoch Media Group in July 2009, he was Global Product Manager for the Railway Business in Paris, France.