China and TPP are not made for each other

China Daily (Canada) - - VIEWS -

Last Fri­day, theMin­istry of For­eign Af­fairs said China is con­sid­er­ing send­ing a del­e­ga­tion to the Pa­cific Al­liance di­a­logue in Chile, which will also be at­tended by the coun­tries that signed the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship agree­ment. The an­nounce­ment was mis­in­ter­preted by some me­dia out­lets to mean that “China is pre­par­ing to join the TPP”, spark­ing dis­cus­sions at home and abroad. The min­istry fi­nally cleared the con­fu­sion onMon­day.

Even though China’s Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive on Latin Amer­i­can Af­fairs Yin Heng­min par­tic­i­pated in the two-day di­a­logue start­ing on Tues­day in Chile, it doesn’t sig­nal China will join the TPP. The Pa­cific Al­liance is a re­gional eco­nomic or­ga­ni­za­tion es­tab­lished by Chile, Peru, Mex­ico and Colom­bia in 2011. Chile, the ro­tat­ing pres­i­dency of the eco­nomic al­liance this year, in­vited the sig­na­tory coun­tries to the TPP, China and the Repub­lic of Korea to at­tend the meet­ing as it was aimed at cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and meet­ing the chal­lenges in the in­te­gra­tion of the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

China is not averse to the idea of the TPP. But since the TPP is not in line with its in­ter­ests, the chances of China join­ing it are re­mote. Al­though the meet­ing in Chile in­cluded dis­cus­sions on TPP-re­lated top­ics, it had many other sub­jects on the agenda. That a four-coun­try eco­nomic al­liance can ex­pand to its cur­rent scale is a tes­ti­mony to Chile’s diplo­matic suc­cess, and the fail­ure of the TPP to in­flu­ence the sig­na­tory coun­tries. And China’s pres­ence at the meet­ing shows its con­stant sup­port for the re­gional eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion of the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

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