CPTPP

An aerial view of shipping containers stacked at a port in Lianyungang, in eastern China's Jiangsu province on 12 January 2024. (AFP)

Does China still need the CPTPP?

Academic Jianyong Yue notes that despite China’s seeming eagerness to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), doing so may in fact hinder it from realising its full potential, given the strict regulations of the group. Perhaps it might be better for China to focus on developing its domestic market and turning into a strong consumption power capable of supporting its industrial upgrading and economic transformation.
People walk past the central business district, in Beijing, China, on 21 June 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China’s application to join CPTPP comes to the fore, after the UK’s entry

​With the UK’s addition to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the question of the next applicant, China, joining comes front and centre. Other applicants like Taiwan, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Uruguay are also keen to be part of a grouping that could become the largest free trade area in the world. Academic Min-Hua Chiang outlines the stakes involved.
Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Malaysia’s minister of international trade and industry. (SPH Media)

Q&A: Malaysia’s new trade minister explains why China matters to Southeast Asia

Caixin sat down for an exclusive interview with Malaysia’s new Minister of International Trade and Industry Tengku Zafrul Aziz on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, in January. He spoke about Malaysia's and ASEAN's relations with China, and his thoughts on regional and global trade.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrives at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport ahead of G20 Summit, Bali, Indonesia, 14 November 2022. (Fikri Yusuf/G20 Media Center/Handout via Reuters)

Australia far more wary of China than SEA nations despite thawing relations

Susannah Patton, director of the Southeast Asia Program at Lowy Institute, reflects on the thaw in Australia-China relations, surmising that the resumption of dialogue may mean Australia is no longer a regional outlier. But unchanging imperatives may see Australia’s continued investment in capabilities for the regional deterrence of China, which may worry some in Southeast Asia.
US President Joe Biden gestures during the commencement ceremony at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, US, 28 May 2022. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

Biden has good strategies, but can he implement them?

Chinese academic Zhang Jingwei notes that while US President Joe Biden has cast a wider net in building alliances compared with his predecessors, much of these frameworks are lacking in substance. Will the US be able to benefit from them and use them against its strategic rival China?
Pedestrians along Nanjing Road near the Bund in Shanghai, China, on 27 February 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Chinese membership in the CPTPP: Greater benefits than downside risks

A study has shown that if China joins the CPTPP, global income gains from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will quadruple to US$632 billion annually. With an eye to the economic benefits, a majority of Southeast Asians view China's membership of the CPTPP positively, the 2022 State of Southeast Asia survey report finds. ISEAS researcher Sithanonxay Suvannaphakdy further notes that Chinese membership of the CPTPP will help to ease China-US trade tensions. However, there are concerns about China's ability to abide by the rules of the CPTPP.
Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing delivers a major address on 9 November 2021 at Fullerton Hotel as part of the IISS Fullerton Lectures, a prestigious series of events on regional and global security issues organised by IISS–Asia. (SPH)

Chan Chun Sing: Singapore amid great power rivalry

Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing gave the speech titled "Singapore amid Great Power Rivalry" at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Fullerton Lecture on 9 November 2021. He said countries around the world possess some agency even amid great power competition, and Singapore can work together with like-minded partners to help build a better world. And while the US and China might feel their differences sharply, there could be more common interests between them than they would probably want to acknowledge, as both countries share a single global system and biosphere with the rest of the world. Here is the full transcript of his speech.
US President Joe Biden arrives to speak about American manufacturing and the American workforce after touring the Mack Trucks Lehigh Valley Operations Manufacturing Facility in Macungie, Pennsylvania, US, on 28 July 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

Could China-US trade relations be thawing?

High-level trade and foreign policy officials from the US and China have articulated their views recently on implementing the phase one trade deal and hopes for cooperation amid a state of strategic competition. Will more of such sessions help to chip away at the great wall of mistrust that has been built between the US and China?
US President Joe Biden speaks to reporters before boarding Air Force One to depart Capital Region International Airport in Lansing, Michigan, US, 5 October 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Japanese academic: US moving away from ASEAN centrality to defend its regional interests

With AUKUS and the Quad, Japanese academic Sahashi Ryo argues that the US is seeking to distance itself from the region’s ASEAN-centric mechanisms, despite assurances to the contrary. While both the US and China are working hard to make their presence felt in the region, Ryo says someone is acting out of undue haste and probably needs more time to figure out how to create its desired world order under mounting competition.