Sat, 23 Oct 2021

BEIJING, China: Seeking to expand its influence, China is seeking to join an 11-nation Asia-Pacific free trade group, the Comprehensive and Progress Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The Comprehensive and Progress Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, originally named the Trans-Pacific Partnership, was an effort by former U.S. President Barack Obama to increase emphasis on relations with Asia. China was not included in the initial group of countries.

Former President Donald Trump pulled out of the group in 2017. Also, President Joe Biden has not rejoined the group.

The Global Times, one of China's official newspapers, has called China's application a move to ensure Beijing's "leadership in global trade," which leaves the United States "increasingly isolated."

The Comprehensive and Progress Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, includes agreements on access to markets, movement of labor and government procurement.

Other members include Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Britain is also seeking to join.

Though China's government has promised to increase imports of goods, it faces increasing criticism that it has not carried out promises made when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 to open finance and other service industries.

China is also a member of other trade organizations, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which includes many nations in Asia that are not part of the Comprehensive and Progress Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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