Sep 16, 2021 11:46 PM

China Formally Applies to Join CPTPP

What’s new: China formally applied to join a multilateral trans-Pacific trade pact as the U.S. resumes engagement in the region.

Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao officially handed a letter Thursday to New Zealand’s trade minister requesting to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The two ministers held a teleconference and discussed follow-up work on China’s application, the ministry said.

The background: The CPTPP, formed in 2018, is a free trade agreement among Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.

China also lobbied Australia and Malaysia for their support.

The U.S. withdrew from the pact under former President Donald Trump, even though his predecessor Barack Obama conceived it as an economic bloc to counter Beijing’s growing power.

China’s application came as the U.S. announced Wednesday a new security partnership with the U.K. and Australia in the Asia-Pacific region, a move seen as a countermove to China. The pact will allow Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines for the first time using American technology.

China condemned the agreement as “extremely irresponsible.” China’s embassy in Washington accused the countries of a “Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice.”

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Denise Jia ( and editor Bob Simison (

Download our app to receive breaking news alerts and read the news on the go.

Get our weekly free Must-Read newsletter.

You've accessed an article available only to subscribers
Share this article
Open WeChat and scan the QR code
Get our CX Daily, weekly Must-Read and China Green Bulletin newsletters delivered free to your inbox, bringing you China's top headlines.

We ‘ve added you to our subscriber list.

Manage subscription
Caixin-Sinica Business Brief: Hong Kong to Allow Retail Investors to Trade Crypto