China hopes APEC will play a coordinating role in establishing the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). However, some critics have argued that Beijing is using the FTAAP to balance the talks on the U.S.-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) plan.
CCTV America’s Wang Hui interviewed Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to U.S., on his thoughts about the the two free trade plans.
Cui Tiankai said the FTAAP is not against any particular countries nor the initiatives or mechanisms.
“As a matter of principle, China stands for free trade worldwide, especially in our region- the Asia Pacific. And actually the idea of an Asia-Pacific free trade arrangement was first put forward by the United States a few years ago in the APEC. We believe this is a good idea, and we should build a stronger momentum to achieve this goal. Since China is hosting the APEC meeting this year, we think this is a good opportunity for all the regional countries, China and U.S. included, to reaffirm our commitment to trade, and investment, liberalization in Asia-Pacific, and our commitment to fight against protectionism. This is really in the interests of all the members of APEC , including China and United States. This is not the move designed against any particular countries nor the initiatives or mechanisms, because we believe that all the global or regional mechanisms or the proposals should be open and mutually-inclusive.”—Cui Tiankai