TPP's uncertain future - China

Join TPP? Beijing not saying no to idea

Several countries swung to making efforts to salvage the Trans-Pacific Partnership after President Donald Trump's decision to dump the pact left its future in doubt.

BEIJING • China is non-committal on whether it will join the Trans- Pacific Partnership (TPP), now that the US will be out of the picture.

Asked by the BBC at a regular press briefing yesterday about joining the free trade pact, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said China has "always advocated the building of an open, transparent and mutually beneficial region through free trade arrangements".

Beijing has been suspicious of the TPP, worried that the US, which had been leading the initiative, might use it to isolate China from other economies in the region.

Ms Hua said China was ready to work with all parties to "continue the process (of economic integration) and bring new impetus to the development of the Asia-Pacific region and the global economy".

But Dr Teng Jianqun of the China Institute of International Studies said at a forum yesterday that China would like to join the TPP as it wanted to cooperate with all states.

Goh Sui Noi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2017, with the headline 'Join TPP? Beijing not saying no to idea'. Print Edition | Subscribe