Australia will demand China to end its campaign of economic trade coercion and reopen ministerial trade talks as a prerequisite for starting negotiations on its bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a media report said on Friday.
Trade Minister Dan Tehan said that all CPTPP members would have to be confident that China could meet the agreement's high standards and its World Trade Organisation commitments. This meant that China's bans and restrictions on $20 billion worth of Australian exports over the last year would be seen as a breach of that agreement, Australian Financial Review reported on Friday.
"As we have conveyed to China, these are important matters which require ministerial engagement," Tehan said.
On Thursday, Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao filed a written request for CPTPP accession with New Zealand's Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O'Connor, acting as CPTPP depositary, Global Times reported citing the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) as saying in a statement.
CPTPP is a free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. It was signed by these 11 countries in March 2018 in Santiago, Chile.
Earlier, Beijing had been showing its interest in joining CPTPP. Multiple times the top leaders of the communist government had indicated to join the bloc.
Gao Feng, spokesperson for MOFCOM, said in February that Beijing had been actively conducting a study on matters related to joining the CPTPP and it's ready to strengthen technical exchanges with CPTPP members on relevant problems, Global Times reported.
In February, the UK formally requested accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and in June, the CPTPP Commission agreed to formally commence accession negotiations with the UK. (ANI)