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China's CPTPP bid greeted with skepticism and caution

US allies express doubts over Beijing's willingness to reform economy

Then-U.K. Trade Secretary Liz Truss, now foreign secretary, chairs a CPTPP roundtable in London on July 10, 2020. (Photo courtesy of No. 10 Downing Street)

TOKYO/BEIJING/WASHINGTON -- Japan and Australia on Friday joined a chorus of U.S. allies that have aired caution and trepidation over China's bid to join an 11-nation trans-Pacific trade group, skeptical that the world's second-largest economy is willing to conform to the pact's high standards for free trade.

There is also concern that even if China did join, it would bend the rules of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to favor its own interests.

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