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Tun-Jen Cheng and Yung-Ming Hsu

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Tun-Jen Cheng and Wei-Chin Lee

The United States has touted the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a trade framework to harmonize and homogenize regional trade practices for mutual benefit and as a key pillar of Washington’s rebalance of foreign policy toward Asia. China has perceived the TPP as an American trade scheme to gain economic advantage over China and as a strategic instrument for hegemonic rivalry. Lagging behind its trade competitor, South Korea, in the pursuit of free trade agreements, Taiwan has been doing its utmost to bid for membership in the TPP. A formidable hindrance to Taiwan’s joining the TPP is the omnipresent “China factor.” China has minimal tolerance for Taiwan’s presence in the international arena and for other countries’ assistance to Taiwan in attempting to secure its legitimate place in the international community. It seems that Taiwan stands a chance to enter the TPP, overcoming the China factor.