Move comes days after China applied to become part of 10-member Pacific trade group
ANKARA (AA) – Following China, Taiwan on Wednesday also applied to become part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership trade group, Economic Affairs Vice Minister Chen Chern-chyi said.
The step came after Beijing last Thursday officially applied to join the Pacific trade deal, a move welcomed by Malaysia which is a member of the trade group.
Both the applications are with New Zealand, which is the depositary nation for the deal. Wellington will share the applications with the other 10 member states.
The group, formerly Trans-Pacific Partnership, was earlier led by the US which exited the grouping under the former Donald Trump administration, leaving the world’s third-largest economy i.e. Japan to be at the helm.
Citing experts, Daily Taiwan News reported that once China was allowed to join the trade grouping, “Taiwan would face more obstacles in becoming part of a wide regional trade alliance.”
In the recent past, China has suspended imports of wax apples and custard apples from Taiwan.
Beijing claims the island nation of Taiwan as a “breakaway province,” while Taipei insists it has been independent since 1949.
Taipei has been maintaining independent diplomatic relations with at least 16 nations, angering Beijing.
The US formally recognized the People’s Republic of China in 1979 and under the so-called Three Communiques shifted diplomatic relations from Taipei to Beijing, thus including Taiwan as part of mainland China.