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China to attend Trans-Pacific Partnership meeting

Staff Writer |
China may be taking a special interest in a multilateral trade deal once led by the United States.

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China, though not a member state of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership signed by 12 countries, has agreed to send a delegation to attend ministerial-level meetings in Chile.

Beijing's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular press briefing Monday that Chinese delegates are to "attend the two-day meetings on March 14-15, at the invitation of the Chilean government," led by Ambassador Yin Hengmin, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

But Hua said Yin's attendance does not mean China plans to become a signatory to the trade deal after the United States withdrew its support in January, when U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum.

"China hopes this meeting will contribute to the Asia-Pacific free trade zone, the building of open economies and the integration of Asia-Pacific economies," Hua said. "China's position on TPP remains unchanged."

After the United States withdrew support, the remaining 11 members of the trade deal agreed to meet in Vina del Mar in central Chile's Pacific coast.

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