Taiwan Seeks Australia’s Support in Bid to Join CPTPP
Taiwan’s Appeal to Australia
In her recent meeting with Australian lawmakers, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has requested Australia’s backing for Taiwan’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Taiwan’s bid to join the CPTPP is a significant move, as it seeks to strengthen its economic ties with leading nations in the Indo-Pacific region.
President Tsai emphasized Taiwan’s commitment to promoting economic growth and sustainable development in the Indo-Pacific region. She underscored the importance of bolstering economic and trade relations between Taiwan and Australia, highlighting that Taiwan is Australia’s fifth-largest trading partner and fourth-largest export market. Australia is Taiwan’s main energy provider and a significant source of agricultural products.
Australia’s Role in Taiwan’s Economic Growth
President Tsai acknowledged Australia’s important role in maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and praised its previous support for Taiwan’s international participation. She expressed her belief that safeguarding a free and open Indo-Pacific region is a shared goal between Taiwan and Australia.
Taiwan’s Pursuit of CPTPP Membership
Taiwan is currently seeking international support for its CPTPP membership, focusing primarily on Australia, the U.S., and Japan. In an interview, Taiwan’s representative to Australia, Douglas Hsu, emphasized that Taiwan has been informing CPTPP member states about its efforts to meet the trade pact’s standards. He underscored that membership applications should be considered based on an applicant’s ability to fulfill the commitments under the CPTPP, rather than any political considerations.
An Australian parliamentary delegation is currently visiting Taiwan for a four-day trip to discuss security and trade issues with high-ranking government officials. The visit comes amid heightened global attention on the Indo-Pacific region, particularly in light of ongoing tension between Taiwan and China over their respective bids to join the CPTPP.
Implications for the Future
Australia’s position on Taiwan’s CPTPP application could play a significant role in shaping the future of the trade agreement and the broader Indo-Pacific region. Australia’s decision is likely to focus on the qualifications of the candidate countries rather than linking its decision to other issues.
As discussions continue among CPTPP member countries on how to consider new applications, the international community will be watching closely. The outcome of these deliberations could have far-reaching implications for international trade, regional stability, and relations between nations in the Indo-Pacific region.
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