Sydney (Australia), Sep 18 (EFE) .- The Australian authorities indicated that they will put conditions on China to support its entry into the Progressive and Comprehensive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), after Beijing announced its interest in joining the trade agreement.
In an interview with the Australian newspaper Australian Financial Review, Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan stated that he will ask China to end the boycott of some Australian products to start negotiations for entry into the CPTPP.
Beijing announced on Thursday its interest in joining the CPTPP, for which it needs the consensus of its members, including Australia, to start membership negotiations.
Tehan noted that the CPTPP members will hold the Chinese authorities to a “high standard” and that it has complied with other trade agreements and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the past.
In recent years, diplomatic relations have deteriorated between China and Australia, which has approved laws to limit Chinese interference in their territory and requested an investigation into the origin of the covid-19, which irritated Beijing.
The Chinese authorities have responded with tariff increases and limitations on Australian products such as barley, wine or meat, which has meant millions in losses for Australia, which has also denounced that the measures go against the WTO.
The CPTPP represents 13.4% of world GDP and has been signed by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, while the United States has also expressed interest in join.
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Zhao Lijian criticized the cooperation agreement reached by Australia with the United States and the United Kingdom with a view to the Indo-Pacific region and which includes the manufacture of nuclear-powered submarines in Canberra.
Despite the disagreements, China is Australia’s main trading partner and with a bilateral exchange valued at 252,000 million Australian dollars (191,343 million USD or 156,681 million EUR) in 2019.