I noted earlier this week how China has officially sought to join the 11 member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which came into effect in late 2019. However, Australia has indicated that it will block China’s admission on the grounds that it has contravened existing agreements with trade strikes against Australian exports.
In what is likely to inflame China even further, the Australian Government is working “behind the scenes” with Japan and Canada to have Taiwan admitted to the CPTPP:
“Australia will work with the CPTPP membership to consider Taiwan’s application on a consensus basis, in accordance with the CPTPP Accession Guidelines,” [Trade Minister Dan Tehan] told The Australian in a statement…
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The foreign minister of Japan – Australia’s closest partner in the region – was even more publicly supportive of Taiwan’s application, which was lodged on Wednesday. Toshimitsu Motegi said Taiwan was an “extremely important partner of Japan” that shared basic values such as the rule of law.
He said Tokyo would respond to Taiwan’s bid “based on a strategic point of view and with the public’s understanding”…
A senior diplomatic source involved in the process told The Australian that Australia, Japan and Canada, which has also experienced Beijing’s trade coercion, had been in discussions exploring a path for Taiwan’s entry.
Great to see. Over the past 18 months, we have witnessed China ban a range of imports from Australia, in contravention of the free-trade agreement (ChAFTA) that the two nations signed in 2015.
Through its actions, China has demonstrated unequivocally that it does not play fair and cannot be trusted on trade (let alone other matters).
Australia should also encourage US President Joe Biden into joining the CPTPP, which the US withdrew from under President Donald Trump.