Legislators urge the government to join the agreement before China or Taiwan will face deterrence derived from political wrestling across the Taiwan Strait.
Presenter: China announced on Sept. 16 that it has applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Taiwan has been trying to join for years, but has not made any progress.
China has formally applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The two sides also discussed the upcoming process by teleconference.
CCTV News Anchor:”On Sept. 16, PRC Commerce Minister Wang Wentao officially submitted the application to join the CPTPP to New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O'Connor.”
Taiwan has been trying to join the CPTPP for years but has not made any progress. Ruling and opposition lawmakers are calling for more aggressive action.
Chiu Chih-wei, Legislator (DPP):”At the very least, we must join before China. If we join after China and China gets in first, Taiwan won't stand a chance. This is a race against time.”
Chen Yu-jen, Legislator (KMT):”China has already (applied) to join. China joining would raise the entry bar for us joining. This is very regrettable. The Tsai administration needs to come up with a plan (to gain membership) as quickly as possible.”
The CPTPP was formerly Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) but the US formally withdrew from it after Donald Trump took office in 2017. In 2018, the CPTPP was formed by 11 nations and approval from all signatories is required for new members. The UK applied to join this past February, followed by China on Sept. 16. As the trade value of CPTPP members accounts for 24 percent of Taiwan's total trade value, Taiwan desperately needs to join if it wants regional economic integration.
Darson Chiu, Researcher, Taiwan Institute of Economic Research:”Before China applied to join, we were worried about what kind of underhanded things China was doing. With China (applying to join) now, we can use this time to openly display for the world to see both sides' commitment to free trade.”
Scholar Darson Chiu says Taiwan is at a disadvantage when it comes to customs duties and zero-tariff trade. In addition, the national security law passed in 2015 severely restricts foreign investment. Chiu says Taiwan needs to step up its membership bid in case it can get in before China.