ROC en­voy to US dis­plays tenac­ity in bid to join TPP

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Tai­wan’s Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the United States, Shen Lyu-shun (

), has ex­pressed con­fi­dence in his coun­try's bid to join the pro­posed U.S.-led Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP), based on Tai­wan's trade and eco­nomic strength.

Among the 224 trade and eco­nomic part­ners of the United States, Tai­wan is one of the top 10, Shen said in a speech at the 40th an­nual con­ven­tion of the Chi­nese Amer­i­can Aca­demic and Pro­fes­sional So­ci­ety in New York Satur­day.

He also noted that Tai­wan pur­chased US$13 bil­lion-worth of prod­ucts from the U.S. in 2014, whereas China's pro­cure­ments from the U.S. amounted to US$56 bil­lion. The lat­ter fig­ure might be 4.35 times that of the for­mer, but China is 256 times the size of Tai­wan and in terms of pop­u­la­tion, China is 58 times larger, Shen said.

Re­gard­ing the prospects for Tai­wan's TPP bid, “we have con­fi­dence,” he said, not­ing that se­nior of­fi­cials in the U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion have ex­pressed many times their welcome to Tai­wan join­ing the re­gional eco­nomic bloc should it be es­tab­lished.

Apart from the sup­port of U.S. con­gress­men, Tai­wan has been con­tin­u­ing to im­prove its trade and eco­nomic con­di­tions so that they meet the re­quire­ments for be­ing part of the TPP. “The de­gree of our lib­er­al­iza­tion has been very high,” the se­nior diplo­mat said.

While many scholars and ex­perts ex­pect China to be the big­gest bar­rier against Tai­wan's mem­ber­ship of the TPP, since Bei­jing plays an in­flu­en­tial role in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion in terms of both eco­nom­ics and pol­i­tics, Shen ad­mit­ted that China will be the one to de­cide on Tai­wan’s TPP bid.

How­ever, he ex­pressed belief that Tai­wan's join­ing the eco­nomic bloc would be ben­e­fi­cial to Bei­jing, as there are now many Tai­wanese busi- nesses op­er­at­ing on the main­land.

“The main­land (China) is not so great that it can block us (Tai­wan) ev­ery step of the way, telling you (Tai­wan) not to go some­where or not to join some or­ga­ni­za­tions. In many cases it (China) is not that com­pe­tent,” Lu said.

The TPP refers to a pro­posed part­ner­ship in­volv­ing 12 na­tions: the United States, Aus­tralia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Ja­pan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Sin­ga­pore and Viet­nam, It is ex­pected to cre­ate a “mega-re­gional” bloc with a com­bined gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) of US$28 tril­lion, ac­cord­ing to Reuters.

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