Taiwan’s DPP criticized for using CPTPP’s offer to demand secession

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Representatives of CPTPP member countries hold hands after the CPTPP signing ceremony in Chile on March 8, 2018. Photo: IC

The island of Taiwan’s request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), about a week after that of the Chinese mainland, was met on Thursday with stern warnings from the United States. Chinese central government.

Calling the new initiative a zero-cost political farce led by the authority of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), regional affairs observers urged the DPP to realize the harsh realities of its doomed attempt to confront the The island’s and mainland’s increasingly marginalized economy, as the DPP continues to collude with Washington or Tokyo to play its dirty tricks on Taiwan.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a press conference on Thursday that China strongly opposes official exchanges between any country and the island of Taiwan, and strongly rejects the accession of Taiwan to any agreement or organization of an official nature.

There is only one China in the world and the Taiwan region is an inseparable part of China, Zhao said, stressing that the one-China principle is a universally recognized standard in international relations and the common consensus of international society.

The island officially applied to join the grouping on Wednesday, after the mainland filed its request last week.

In other official remarks, Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, told reporters on Thursday that the country’s candidacy for CPTPP membership bodes well for the push. Asia-Pacific regional economic integration and was conducive to promoting the global economy. recovery, trade development and investment growth after the virus outbreak.

The participation of the Chinese region of Taiwan in regional economic cooperation must be based on the principle of one China, Zhu said, expressing his opposition to the attempt of the authority of the Progressive Democratic Party to explore the so-called “International space” using the excuse of economy and trade and undertake activities in the pursuit of “independence”.

It is hoped that the countries concerned can handle Taiwan-related issues appropriately and will not provide any convenience or platform for acts of “Taiwan independence”, the spokesperson said.

No endowment in place

The island’s accession to the WTO and its progress in free trade, mostly individual cases under the auspices of the continent, hardly gives it the power to apply for global agreements such as the CPTPP without the permission from the mainland, regional affairs observers said.

The island has applied to join the grouping on behalf of being a separate customs territory, which it uses at the WTO, Reuters reported Thursday.

The Taiwan region’s accession to the WTO as a separate customs territory – a special arrangement upon accession to the WTO that covers both sovereign entities and separate customs territories – by no means equates to case to endow the island, an integral part of China, with some sort of power to subsequently sign official international agreements or groupings, Tang Yonghong, deputy director of the Taiwan Research Center, told the Global Times on Thursday in Xiamen University.

Under international law, the island’s accession to any agreement or official organization is unlikely to be successful without obtaining permission from the mainland, Tang said.

He cited the economic cooperation pacts the island signed with New Zealand and Singapore, both in 2013, when Ma Ying-jeou was Taiwan’s leader pledging allegiance to the 1992 Consensus, as examples of individual cases of such agreements which would not have been signed if the Taiwanese authorities did not succeed in obtaining the green light from the mainland.

Adherence to the one-China principle is non-negotiable and there is no chance that Taiwan will get membership in the CPTPP as long as the mainland is absent from the 11-country regional trade agreement, Gao Lingyun, expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, the Global Times said Thursday.

It is only by obtaining the agreement of all member countries that new candidates can join the CPTPP. In the case of the island of Taiwan, if they intend to vote for mainland membership, it is unlikely that the current members will vote in favor of the island simultaneously, given that the authority of the DPP has shown it is ready to cling to the United States and Japan to gang up on the Chinese mainland, experts say.

The CPTPP entered into force in December 2018, succeeding the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the United States withdrew in 2017 under former President Donald Trump.

A political farce

The island’s request for membership in the CPTPP is an act of political manipulation at zero cost, experts said, almost zeroing in on the possibility of Taiwan’s possible admission, even though it has made extreme efforts to embarrass the continent.

Political considerations apparently played a major role in Taiwan’s request for membership in the CPTPP, Tang commented, revealing the intention of the DPP authority to forge an alliance with CPTPP member countries to confront the continent.

If the request is denied, the DPP’s separatist authority may exaggerate the accusation that the rejection was the result of coercion from the Chinese mainland and accuse it of preventing the island from participating in international cooperation. Zhang Wensheng, vice dean of the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Japan, which holds the rotating CPTPP presidency this year, will likely use Taiwan as a “chip” to negotiate with the continent for benefits, while another member state, Canada, is likely to follow suit. request from the United States, according to Zhang.

Meanwhile, Singapore, Vietnam and Brunei, among other CPTPP members who have close political and economic partnerships with China, will not question China’s results on the Taiwan issue to the detriment of their interests. national. “It is nothing more than a farce written by the United States and Japan and performed by the DPP,” Zhang noted.

The island is also economically motivated to seek a seat within the group, as its economy, heavily dependent on resources and external markets, has moved away over the past two decades from the central stage of the global economy alongside the rise of the mainland economy to the world in importance, according to Tang.

“The marginalization of the island’s economy, which is increasingly becoming the case amid the self-inflicted deterioration of cross-straits ties, means that the island cannot exploit external resources and markets for its own development, ”the expert said, adding that the island might hope that free trade agreements retreat from a growing slide into invisibility.

However, he noted that such plans are essentially an illusion, as the island continues to disagree with the mainland when it comes to the one-China principle.

Additionally, a trade pact with high standards such as the CPTPP could send shockwaves through the island’s economy, as the elimination of tariffs under the CPTPP could put local manufacturers in the island under pressure from their counterparts in member states such as Vietnam.

As Gao said, the mainland is much stronger and more globalized than the island in economic terms, suggesting that existing member states would naturally choose to team up with the mainland for economic reasons.


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