Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that Steven Ciobo, Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, told the press that Australia plans to support China’s effort to reach new trade agreements in the Asia Pacific region. He explained that, according to the U.S. President Elect Donald Trump, it seems the U.S.-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement will be discontinued. TPP excludes China. Ciobo confirmed that Australia will support China’s Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which is expected to be discussed at the upcoming APEC Leadership Summit. He also mentioned that Australia intends to cooperate in the Chinese led effort to establish the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is a free trade agreement still under discussion. RCEP excludes the United States. Analysts expressed the belief that FTAAP will improve China’s influence in the region.
Source: Sina, November 16, 2016