Why China wants to join the pact that once spurned it

Geopolitical manoeuvring aside, the CPTPP helps Beijing push through reforms of its domestic economy.

The Port of Nanjing. China has applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. PHOTO: AFP
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At first glance, it would seem a supreme irony: China has applied to join the very trade pact that arose from moves to counter its economic influence in the Asia Pacific.

In September, Beijing sent in a formal application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) that brings together 11 countries of the Pacific Rim, and which looks set to expand with Britain and Taiwan having applied.

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