Beijing [China], September 16 (ANI): China has submitted an application to become a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal, in a bid to increase its clout in the Asia-Pacific region.
However, it remains uncertain whether China will be allowed to join the free trade pact, formally known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, as it would require unanimous approval from the 11 member countries, Kyodo News reported.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was a proposed free trade agreement among 11 Pacific Rim economiesThe existing TPP members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The trade pact is widely seen as being aimed at countering China's growing economic influence. The US withdrew from the pact in January 2017.
According to the Chinese ministry, Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and Hon Damien O'Connor, New Zealand's trade and export minister, spoke on the phone to discuss necessary procedures.
In March, the Chinese government also formally ratified the world's largest free trade deal, a pact signed last year by 15 Asia-Pacific countries, including Japan, South Korea and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Japan, a leading economy in the TPP, has said complying with high-standard rules would be a prerequisite for China to enter negotiations toward participating in the free trade pact. (ANI)