APEC Leaders Cast Keen Eyes on China's Bid to Join TPP

Economy Politics

Washington/Beijing, Nov. 12 (Jiji Press)--Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum member economies engaged in political maneuvering over China's bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement when they held an online meeting Friday.

The summit brought together leaders from the 21 APEC countries and regions, including Japan, the United States, China and Taiwan. Since all of the 11 TPP signatories are APEC members, China's application filed in September to join the trade bloc drew attention in the summit.

The TPP is "incompatible with unfair trade practices and economic pressure." said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan, which takes a leading role in the TPP. He made clear that the high-level liberalization rules and fair economic order under the trade pact will be maintained.

Apparently bearing China in mind, Trade Minister Damien O'Connor of New Zealand, this year's APEC chair, said that applicants to the TPP need to confirm the liberalization standards they will have to abide by.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden indirectly traded barbs over the issue, amid a deepening conflict between the two economic powers.

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Jiji Press