Explaining China's Tripartite Strategy Towards the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
18(2) Journal of International Economic Law (2015), 407-432.
26 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2015 Last revised: 3 Mar 2016
Date Written: March 16, 2015
The emergence of mega-regional trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) threatens to fragment global trade governance in fundamental ways. An important question, yet so far under-explored, is how the rising powers currently being excluded from the mega- regionals, such as China, view this new development in global economic governance. This article intends to fill this gap in literature from a Chinese perspective. Specifically, this article addresses the following questions: why has China changed its initial suspicious attitude to a more neutral stance towards the TPP recently? What are the short-term and long-term effects of the TPP on China’s economic growth and geo-political influence? How will China deal with a myriad of challenges posed by the TPP going forward, be it in or outside the TPP? After the analysis of a range of relevant political, economic and legal factors, I submit that the Chinese government has adopted what I call a ‘tripartite strategy’ towards the TPP. What remains to be seen is whether this tripartite strategy provides the best roadmap for China’s further integration into the global economy.
Keywords: China, TPP, Asia Pacific Region, RCEP
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