China goes on Asia-Pacific trade offensive in wake of US’ IPEF push
- Foreign minister highlights Beijing’s practical efforts to promote long-term development in the region
- China will continue to expand its high level of openness, Wang Yi tells UN meeting
“China will continue to make greater contributions to the long-term stability and sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific region through practical action,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the annual session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific on Monday.
Wang did not refer directly to the initiative but promised to maintain regional supply chain security, saying China was determined to “firmly” promote economic development in the Asia-Pacific.
In addition to the United States, 12 countries have signed up for the IPEF: South Korea, Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The pact is Biden’s latest attempt to boost engagement in the region in the aftermath of the previous US administration’s withdrawal – and effective scuppering of – the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement in 2017.
But the White House has been clear that the IPEF is not a traditional trade agreement that would expand access to the US market.
Wang also said China sought to join Digital Economy Partnership Agreement.
He added that China would organise high-level meetings on global development, increase funding support, promote a new project bank, and implement global development initiatives put forward by President Xi Jinping.
“China will work … to implement the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, the Trans-Asian Railway Network and other major projects, and support [the UN commission] to play a greater role in promoting regional development,” Wang said.
Wang also hit out at the US over its Indo-Pacific strategy, saying China absolutely rejected any military blocs and camp confrontations in the Asia-Pacific amid the US efforts to build up security alliances to contain China’s growing power.