TPP should be open for China: Australian PM

Updated: 2013-08-27 10:51


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CANBERRA -- The door should be open for China to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said in a speech on the foreign policy into the federal election campaign Tuesday.

The 18th round of TPP negotiations were held in Malaysia four weeks ago, with Japan's entry taking the number of participants to 12 including Australia.

Speaking at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Kevin Rudd said "that starts 'stateside' and ends up 'China-side' and wraps in as many economies as possible".

"I will urge all governments who are party to the TPP to leave the door open to the People's Republic of China in the future," he said. "This would be good for everybody."

The world's second largest economy, China, is not a part of the TPP -- which some politicians and commentators say is a major flaw of the trade negotiations, analysis from the Australian Associated Press (AAP) said Tuesday.

And at the Asia Pacific level, Kevin Rudd called for the East Asia Summit to include a new "regional disputes mechanism" in this speech.

"We must work with others in the region to build collectively a shared political, economic and security agenda -- a sense of common security across our wider region," he said.

Kevin Rudd also said it had been a "good year" for Australia, which has a seat on the G20 and will take over the chair of theUnited NationsSecurity Council (UNSC) this weekend.

"This government has got the big calls right for our enduring national interest with our wider role in the world," he said.

According to him, the UNSC role gives Australia "a direct say on how the world responds to key challenges to the world's peace and security." In his speech, he called the apparent use of chemical weapons inSyriaa "fundamental assault on all international norms".

On Tuesday morning, Kevin Rudd "discussed how to chart a way forward" with US PresidentBarack Obama. And theWhite Househas released a statement about the telephone conversation, saying "the two leaders expressed their grave concern about the reported use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against civilians".