Taiwan asks to join trade group, says China might interfere

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TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan officials say the island has applied to join an 11-nation Pacific trade group. That sets up a potential clash with rival Beijing. A Taiwan Cabinet minister says the island’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership might be disrupted if China, which applied last week, is admitted first. The mainland’s ruling Communist Party claims Taiwan as part of its territory and says it has no right to conduct foreign relations. The CPTPP, which took effect in 2018, includes agreements on market access, movement of labor and government procurement. The U.S. once led the effort but President Donald Trump pulled out of the arrangement in 2017.

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