China files application to join the CPTPP

China officially filed an application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao submitted the application in written letter to Damien O’Connor, Minister for Trade and Export Growth of New Zealand, which is the depositary for the CPTPP. Japan, the CPTPP’s chair in 2021, said it would consult with member countries to respond to China’s request, but stopped short of signaling a timeline for doing so. The CPTPP was signed by 11 countries including Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan and New Zealand in 2018. Before that, it was known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and seen as an important economic counterweight to China’s regional influence. Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP negotiations in 2017.