China’s announcement that it has officially applied to join the CPTPP comes the day after the UK, US and Australia launched a historic security pact, in what has been seen as an effort to counter Beijing’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
UK, US and Australia launch pact to counter China
Aukus pact could signal power shift in Asia-Pacific
The so-called Aukus pact will allow Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines for the first time, using technology provided by the US and the UK.
The deal, which will also cover Artificial Intelligence and other technologies, is Australia’s biggest defence partnership in decades, analysts said.
China has criticised Aukus, describing it as “extremely irresponsible” and “narrow-minded”.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the alliance risked “severely damaging regional peace… and intensifying the arms race”.