China Vows To Keep Taiwan Out of Pacific Rim Trade Group



Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing said Wednesday it will block Taiwan’s application to join a Pacific Rim trade initiative, citing as its reason the island’s refusal to concede that it is a part of China.

The Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office on Wednesday said Taiwan’s participation in regional trade cooperation is based on the “one China principle.”

“We oppose the Taiwan region participating in any trade arrangements of an official nature or signing any trade agreements of an official nature,” spokesperson Zhu Fenglian told reporters at a biweekly briefing.

China claims democratically-ruled Taiwan as its own territory, to be brought under its control by force if necessary. It refuses to recognize the island’s government and has increasingly sought to isolate the independence-leaning administration of President Tsai Ing-wen.

Taiwan announced on Sept. 23 that it had applied join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a week after China submitted its own application to join.

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