ROC envoy to US displays tenacity in bid to join TPP
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.