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Wang Huiyao: More talks should be held with TPP nations

Tuesday,Mar 21, 2017

From: China Daily

 

About Author

Wang Huiyao, president of Center for China and Globalization (CCG).


Forging ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership will help China share the benefits of new round of globalizationChinese Premier Li Keqiang said on March 15 at a National People’s Congress news conference that China, as a beneficiary of globalization, will take an open attitude toward regional free trade arrangements that concern it and, where conditions are in place, should seize the opportunities of globalization through opening-up.Indeed, China has been a strong advocate for the spirit of free trade that embraces openness, inclusiveness and mutual benefits. Recently this spirit was seen in China’s participation in the meeting of countries signing up for the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Chilean town of Vina del Mar on March 14 and 15. China’s presence stirred a widespread assumption that it will fill the vacuum left by the withdrawal of the US and save the TPP from bankruptcy.

Wendy Cutler, former US chief negotiator of the TPP and now vice-president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, said that the TPP was not anti-China and was always open to other countries. It was initiated to liberalize Asia-Pacific trade and promote the integration of economies in this region, she told a seminar co-hosted by the Asia Society Policy Institute and the Center for China and Globalization on March 13 in Beijing.

My personal observation is that to cope with the challenges brought by the Trump administration and the trend of de-globalization we should fully recognize the anticipation of Asia-Pacific countries that China will participate in the TPP, seizing the chance to take part in further negotiations and meetings to take advantage of a mature trade agreement.

First, it will help China share the dividends of a new round of economic globalization. Joining the TPP will provide a better channel for Chinese firms to outsource technology, services, telecommunications, banking, e-commerce, financial services and other sectors, to fully participate in global service trade and protect intellectual property.

Second, compared with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the TPP has already formulated a mature framework. RCEP was initiated by ASEAN countries in 2011, and still faces a number of challenges. At the recently concluded RCEP meeting in Japan, rapid progress was not made. It takes time to achieve consensus. Hence, China’s participation in the meetings with TPP countries may create a chance to forge ahead with the reform of RCEP and further the construction of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), adding new impetus to regional and global economic development.

Finally, participating in the meetings with TPP countries could serve as a new economic input for Asia-Pacific free trade discussions and help China play a more active role in global governance, which in return would help to thoroughly implement the Belt and Road Initiative by improving geopolitics and deploying economic foreign policy.

 

From China Daily, 2017-3-17

 

 

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