As a means to strengthen its position in the Asia Pacific region, China has applied to join the CPTPP trade pact that was created to counter China’s influence. CPTPP stands for Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement For Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was originally called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The pact was actually promoted by former President Barack Obama as a trade bloc that will have the capability to challenge China’s influential position in the Asia Pacific. However, Obama’s successor Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of the US from the TPP economic agreement which several countries, including Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Chile, and Canada, had signed up for in 2018.
China’s recent CPTPP application was submitted to New Zealand’s trade minister, Damien O’Connor, as the the latter country has been designated as the administrative centre for the pact. China’s move to join the CPTPP was said to have been spurred by the landmark security deal recently created and formed by the UK, US, and Australia, known as AUKUS.
The AUKUS deal agreed to by the three aforementioned countries was reportedly created to solidify a joint effort to counter China’s global influence. It has been revealed that the security pact will allow Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines using technologies provided by the US.
Analysts surmise that AUKUS also has plans of developing other AI supported technologies that will make the AUKUS alliance the most formidable defence collaboration.
On the other hand, China brands the security agreement between the three countries as “extremely irresponsible”. Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesman remarked that the pact will not only escalate arms race, but will also compromise the peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region.