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China lobbies Australia for help on trade pact

China is lobbying the Australian government for its support to join a multilateral regional trade pact — despite the two nations being in a worsening geopolitical dispute.

“China’s accession to the CPTPP would yield large economic benefits,” Beijing‘s embassy in Canberra wrote in a submission to an Australian parliamentary inquiry into broadening the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. “China is committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind, and stands ready to work together with all the other parties to promote globalization and regional economic integration.”

China has this year reached out to Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and possibly other nations for technical talks on details of the CPTPP, which was formed in 2018 despite the withdrawal of the US.

( Originally published on Sep 10, 2021 )