China and CPTPP
China would align with high-level international economic and trade standards in order to further deepen reform and expand institutional opening-up. To that purpose, the country has been engaging and negotiating with members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement. The CPTPP, which has 11 current signatories – New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Peru, and Vietnam – is one of the world's largest multilateral trade agreements. It has high standards in terms of investment, financial services, intellectual property, the environment, and labor rights.
China's commerce minister, Wang Wentao, said during a news conference in Beijing that the government is eager to discuss and sign free trade agreements with additional economies and countries. China's formal applications to join the CPTPP and the DEPA last year reflected the country's determination to deepen reforms and open up, as well as its real willingness to increase international digital economy cooperation, encourage innovation, and promote sustainable development, he said.
If the CPTPP commission decides to start the accession process, it will form a working group to negotiate with applicants. Each applicant would be urged to consult with all 11 members ahead of time. The Chinese government has been working on regulations to execute the three laws on data security, cyberspace security, and personal information protection that were passed in recent years. Throughout the process, the Chinese authorities involved have been figuring out how to meet the CPTPP rules' obligations.
China conducted comprehensive and in-depth studies on CPTPP provisions before officially applying for membership last year, according to the vice-minister, adding that the country has already sorted out laws, regulations, and reform measures that it needs to improve or modify in order to join the agreement. China is prepared to conduct extensive communications and negotiations with the CPTPP countries concerned on any subject or clause of the CPTPP.