Race on as Beijing and Taipei vie for trans-Pacific trade bloc membership

Race on as Beijing and Taipei vie for trans-Pacific trade bloc membership

Beijing applied to join the CPTPP on September 16 and Taipei applied on September 22. Photo: AP Photo

Beijing’s application to join a trans-Pacific trade pact could undermine Taiwan’s chances of gaining access to the regional bloc if Beijing becomes a member ahead of the self-ruled island.

But Taiwanese officials said such a development remained to be seen given the opaque and restrictive structure of the mainland’s market system.

Taipei officially submitted its application on Wednesday to join the now 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) under the name “the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei)” – a title it used in the World Trade Organization, of which Beijing is also a member.

The submission of the application to New Zealand, the depository nation of the agreement, came after Beijing made the same request on September 16, prompting concerns in Taiwan that the island might be barred from joining if the mainland was accepted before Taipei was.

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