China and TPP are not made for each other
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.