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DPP official warns Beijing on trying to block Taiwan's TPP bid

2016/01/20 17:29

Washington, Jan. 19 (CNA) Any attempt by China to block Taiwan's participation in the second round of Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations would not be conducive to the stable and peaceful development of cross-strait relations, a Democratic Progressive Party official said Tuesday.

DPP Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said the United States, Japan and many other members of the TPP have welcomed Taiwan's interest in participating in the second round of TPP negotiations.

"If China decides to block Taiwan by urging those smaller members of the TPP to say no to Taiwan's inclusion in the TPP, it's not going to be very forthcoming in terms of cross-strait relations," Wu said, answering a question on Taiwan's potential TPP bid at a forum on the implications of Taiwan's election results, in which the DPP won power.

People in Taiwan have not been happy about China blocking Taiwan's participation in international organizations and activities in the past, Wu said, and further attempts to block Taiwan will not be beneficial to cross-strait peace and stability.

Wu said Taiwan should make its stance very clear and start to engage in bilateral discussions with TPP members on possible free trade agreements even without participating in the TPP.

At the forum, sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Wu also analyzed the factors behind the DPP's election victory and covered other issues.

But he steered clear of the controversial issue of imports of American pork containing traces of the leanness-enhancing veterinary drug ractopamine.

The drug is banned in pork in Taiwan, but the U.S. has hinted that Taiwan must compromise on pork imports if headway is to be made in trade negotiations, including a bid for TPP membership.

President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) surprised many during the campaign when she said she would refer to the standards used by South Korea and Japan, which both accept U.S. pork with ractopamine, to deal with the issue.

The Kuomintang government and the DPP had previously insisted on zero tolerance for ractopamine in pork.

Wu said he is not a trade official and would not discuss trade issues with U.S. officials, especially about pork.

(By Rita Cheng and Lilian Wu)Enditem/ls