Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday that China is willing to consider joining the Asia-Pacific’s largest free-trade pact, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), as Beijing sets its priorities for trade talks this year to drive an economic recovery amid Covid-19 pandemic.
When asked about China’s plan to join the CPTPP, Li told reporters at a wide-ranging press conference on the final day of the national legislature’s annual meeting in Beijing that “China has a positive and open attitude toward joining the CPTPP.”
That would be an excellent outcome, if it happens. The irony is of course that TPP was backed by the US as a way to isolate China. Then US pulled out of it, leaving an opening for China.
China is far from a benevolent country but they are a major economic force and the fewer trade barriers we have with them, the better it is for us. The economic benefits to NZ from the China FTA were massive and China joining TPP would be good for our exporters.