China seeks Chile’s help in joining trans-Pacific trade pact

Beijing, Oct 13 (EFE).- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday called up his Chilean counterpart Andres Allamand and sought to establish communication over the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which Beijing requested to join in September.

Wang said that the two countries should strengthen “strategic cooperation” on multilateral issues, and that China wanted to have discussions with Chile over their bid do join the trade pact, according to a statement released by the Chinese foreign ministry. 

During the phone call, Wang stressed the need for the two countries to help each other and deepening cooperation in the fields of mining, renewable energy and technology.

On Sep. 17, China sought to join the trade pact, which came into effect in December 2018 and currently includes 11 countries, including world’s third biggest economy Japan as well as Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.

The pact’s signatories account for 13 percent of the total world trade.

The CPTPP replaced the TPP, the earlier pact signed between these 11 countries and the United States, as the US president of the time – Donald Trump – had withdrawn from the treaty in 2017.

However, Beijing needs a consensus among the signatories to begin negotiations for joining the agreement.

So far, Australian authorities have said that they will put conditions before China for supporting its membership, while Japan has sought a review of whether Beijing was “ready” to fulfill the requirements for joining.

Taiwan also sought to join the agreement a week after China, eliciting a stern response from Beijing, even though members like Japan have said they do not see a problem with the island joining the pact.

The CPTPP is designed to reduce taxes on agricultural and industrial products and promote investments and digital trade in the Pacific regions.

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