China is progressing in its talks with the members of major trade deals, as Beijing continues to advance its accession bids, which have the potential to reshape the global trade landscape. “China has been reaching out to, and discussing with, members of the major Pacific Rim trade deal based on the accession procedure of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP),” Gao Feng, spokesman for the commerce ministry (Mofcom), said at a weekly press conference on Thursday. Gao also said China has conducted “sufficient, holistic and profound” research into, and assessments of, that deal. And he vowed that China is willing to adhere to the rules and standards of the CPTPP via reforms , while committing to greater market access, to share in the deal’s huge market potential. China officially submitted its application in September to join the CPTPP, soon after the United States, Australia and Britain formed the Aukus security and military pact . The US formally abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the predecessor to the CPTPP, in January 2017. Taiwan submitted its bid to join the trade bloc six days after China. Beijing, which considers the self-ruled island a breakaway province to be reunited by force if necessary, opposes Taiwan’s bid to join any official international agreements and organisations. Taiwan media reported on Monday that the bloc’s commission would hold an online discussion on the two potential memberships, along with Ecuador’s, on Thursday. One of the world’s biggest multilateral trade agreements, the CPTPP, with 11 current signatories – New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Peru and Vietnam – has high standards that must be followed in terms of investment, financial services, intellectual property, the environment and labour rights. The CPTPP commission would establish a working group to negotiate with applicants if it decides to commence with their accession process. And each of the applicants would be encouraged to consult all 11 members beforehand. Chinese and Taiwanese trade pact bids on CPTPP agenda this week: report It took the United Kingdom about seven months to have its first meeting with a CPTPP working group in September, after submitting its application to join the pact last February. China’s customs authority said on February 3 that it would trial part of the rules of the CPTPP in some of the country’s pilot free-trade zones, as part of efforts to show that Beijing is ready to play by the CPTPP rule book. Separately, China will continue to advance bilateral free-trade talks with the Gulf Cooperation Council, Israel, Norway and Ecuador, while trilateral discussions will take place with South Korea and Japan, Mofcom said on Thursday. “Through nearly 20 years of endeavouring, China’s free-trade ‘friend zone’ continues to expand,” Gao said. But analysts have said Beijing’s bid to join the CPTPP is likely to be a tough sell. The accession requires unanimous consent of all active members, while China’s relations with Australia, Japan and Canada have significantly soured in recent years, especially amid the global pandemic. Aiming to play a more active role in the world’s trade system and digital economy, Beijing also applied to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) on November 1. Gao said China has been in “intensive communication” with DEPA signatories and has conducted technical consultations. “China is willing to offer cooperation opportunities and its vast market for closer digital cooperation, and would contribute to the innovation and sustainable development among members,” Gao said.