BEIJING – China welcomed on Thursday the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, scheduled to take place later in the day in Santiago, Chile, and expressed hope that the initiative would go hand in hand with others from the region such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
China is not a part of the TPP, but it “has been a strong advocate of trade liberalization and a key player of Asia Pacific cooperation,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a press conference.
“China is positive about any open, transparent and inclusive arrangement that reinforces regional economic integration and the WTO centered global free trade system,” the minister said.
The TPP comprises Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Unlike the original agreement signed two years ago, the deal does not include the United States as the administration led by President Donald Trump decided to pull out of it.
The proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership would include the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.
Wang also said that at the Asia-Pacific summit, which Beijing hosted in 2014, China had advocated for the establishment of a free trade area for the entire region.
“We hope to see better communication coordination and interaction between the various free trade initiatives in our region so they may complement one another, resist trade protectionism and contribute to an open global economy,” the Chinese foreign minister said.