03:00 GMT +317 November 2018
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    The People's Republic of China flag and the U.S. Stars and Stripes fly along Pennsylvania Avenue near the US Capitol during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit in Washington, DC, US on January 18, 2011.

    It's High Time for China to Take Washington's Vacant Seat in TPP

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    China should not miss the chance to take the United States’ vacant place in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal, according to a report by the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) think-tank.

    The TPP agreement was considered one of the main foreign policy achievements of the former US presidential administration led by Barack Obama. The negotiations were finalized in October and must now be ratified by all signatories within the next two years.

    Initially the parties to the deal were Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam. The initiative was planned to establish a free trade area in the Asia-Pacific region accounting for 40 percent of world GDP and 30 percent of global trade.

    However, in January, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Washington’s withdrawal from the deal.

    "Everyone knows what that means, we have been talking about this for a long time. Great thing for the American worker, what we just did," Trump commented on the decision.

    CCG experts concluded that in the current situation Beijing should take the chance and step in to replace the vacant place.

    "Now, many TPP members are supporting China’s participation in the deal. By making an independent decision to join the TPP, China could fill in the void and improve international relations with the use of economic diplomacy tools," the report read.

    The document noted that joining the TTP would be a beneficial factor for the creation of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). The concept emerged in 2006 as one of the competing visions for the region and gained Chinese support alongside the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is focused on Southeast Asia.

    Chinese experts also suggested that Trump is deliberately reproaching with Russia and fueling tensions in Southeast Asia and other regions. In this context, China’s TPP membership would improve the situation in the region and promote cooperation between North Asian and Southeast Asian countries.

    Moreover, Chinese analysts said that the decision would speed up integration processes in Asia and contribute to promoting China’s One Belt One Road infrastructure initiative.

    Certain hopes are now pinned on China and joining the TTP would help China portray itself as an open economy ready for global cooperation, the report concluded.

     

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    Tags:
    free trade zone, economy, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Donald Trump, China, United States
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