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    US Pacific Trade Agreements Not ‘Anti-China’: Obama Administration

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    According to US administration, the US Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade agreements and US arrangements with the ten nation Alliance of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members are not meant to be "anti-China effort".

    WASHINGTON, November 18 (Sputnik) — The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade agreements and US arrangements with the ten nation Alliance of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members are not meant to be "anti-China," according to US administration statements, issued on Tuesday.

    "None of this is meant to be an anti-China effort," White House special assistant to US President Barack Obama, Christopher Smart, told members of the press.

    The US integration efforts with the exclusive group of ten ASEAN nations, and the TPP agreements among twelve Pacific nations, excluding China and Russia, are "not meant to be a competing vision for trade in the region," Smart added.

    Smart refused to comment directly when asked how the Obama administration views the increasingly close economic ties and cooperative agreements between Russia and China.

    One outcome of last week's APEC summit in Beijing was improving connectivity among the economies in the region, according to US senior official for APEC at the State Department Bob Wang.

    The trade arrangements the United States forging in the region without including China, are "not directed at any particular link," Wang stated.

    In the future such regional connectivity can be extended beyond ASEAN members to other countries in the western hemisphere, and eventually China, the State Department official said.

    President Obama has publicly stated that the TPP agreements are not inconsistent with the efforts for a Free-Trade Agreement for the Asia Pacific (FTAAP), a regional free trade arrangement, vigorously promoted at last week's APEC summit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, but rejected by the United States for being premature.

    The origination of the TPP agreements was within Obama's "Pacific Pivot" strategy of 2011. At the time, Obama outlined the need for closer security relationships in the region, as well as establishing economic ties with Asia Pacific partners.

    The statements came after Russia and China voiced their concern about what they perceived to be US "attempts to strengthen its military and political influence in the Asia-Pacific region", according to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who met Tuesday with his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan.

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    free trade agreement, Obama Administration, ASEAN, Trans-Pacific Partnership, United States
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