China to ‘Earnestly Study’ Trans-Pacific Trade Pact

Posted November 14th, 2011 at 7:05 am (UTC-5)
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China says it will “earnestly study” whether to seek membership in a proposed free-trade zone spanning the Pacific.

At press briefing in Honolulu Sunday, Chinese foreign ministry official Pang Sen said that Beijing always adopts an open attitude toward all regional arrangements that are conducive to strengthening regional economic integration.

Pang said if China has a say in making the rules, then Beijing will abide by them. But, if rules are decided by one or even several countries, China does not have an obligation to abide by them.

U.S. officials have not publicly asked China to join the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership. Washington has expressed concern about what it sees as Beijing's protectionist economic policies. China has been critical of the TPP in the past, calling it a form of trade protectionism.