Analysts hit back at Obama’s comments
The United States should not exclude other countries in setting trade rules, but should embrace rules together with emerging economies, according to Chinese analysts.
They were commenting after US President Barack Obama called for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to be speeded up for his country to compete with China.
The TPP will enable the US to “write the rules” and “call the shots” in trade in the Asia-Pacific region, Obama said in an article published onTheWashington Post website onMonday.
He said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership — a proposed free trade agreement between the 10 member states of the AssociationofSoutheastAsianNations and the six states with which ASEAN has existing FTAs, including China — would put US businesses and jobs at risk.
Inresponse, theChineseForeign Ministry said that world traderulesshouldnotbedictated by a single country, but should be jointly written by all countries.
It said China remains open to the TPP, and that both partnerships should reinforce each otherandcontributetothegoal ofsettingupanAsia-Pacificfree trade area.
Zhong Feiteng, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ National Institute of International Strategy, said the two partnerships can coexist.
He said the regional partnership has lower standards that suit developing and low-income countries, while the TPP has much higher standards and suits developed countries.
With Obama in the last year of his presidency, he sees the TPP as an important legacy, Zhong said. He added that the US — concerned over China’s development — is attempting to constrain such development through theTPP.
Considering that US influence has been declining in recentyears, itisnotrealisticfor Washington to try to formulate global trade rules on its own, and it should gradually accept China’s participation in formulating these rules, he said.
Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, said global trade rules should be written by both developed countries represented by the US and by emerging countries represented byChina.