Taiwan formally applies to join CPTPP trade pact

Taiwan has officially applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP.

A spokesperson for Taiwan's Cabinet announced the application on Wednesday. Taiwan's Central News Agency said the minister of economic affairs, Wang Mei-hua, will give more details on the move on Thursday.

Wang had been expressing determination to join the pact, saying that Taiwan has been holding unofficial talks with participating countries. She had also said that Taiwan would naturally apply when the time was ripe.

Wang had also said Taiwan has been working on legislation to meet the strict CPTPP entry criteria.

China announced last week that it had applied to join the trade pact, formerly known as the TPP. China, which claims that Taiwan is a part of the country, is expected to oppose Taiwan's move.

The CPTPP currently has 11 signatory nations.

They have a combined population of about 500 million and aggregate GDP of more than 11 trillion dollars, accounting for 13 percent of the world's total.

Participating nations have streamlined rules on trade and investment. They have agreed to reduce or remove tariffs on most industrial and agricultural products.