Australian inquiry backs Taiwan CPTPP accession but doesn't do the same for China

Australia’s parliamentary body tasked with analysing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has come out in full support of extending the pact’s membership to Taiwan.

In a report about expanding CPTPP membership, the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade said the Australian government along with other pact members should facilitate Taiwan’s accession to the pact.

The committee explained it supported Taiwan’s accession, in spite of China’s disapproval, as it is one of the “very few major markets” that Australia has not entered a free trade agreement with.

In light of the lack of a free trade agreement between Australia and Taiwan, the committee said Australia should also consider concurrently negotiating a bilateral with the Taiwanese government.

The committee made this recommendation as Australia has seen benefits from adopting a similar approach with the UK previously. The committee also said that such agreements would allow the Australian government to learn from Taiwan when it comes to how to both counter disinformation campaigns and build a better cybercapacity in countering illegitimate or unsolicited attacks.

When it came to China’s potential accession into the CPTPP, the committee did not give the same glowing review.

It said that

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