Illustration: Tang Tengfei/Global Times

China’s recent application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has received a negative response from the US, which had originally pushed the free trade treaty as a way to exclude China during the Obama era before abruptly withdrawing from the deal in the early days of the Trump era.

Key US senators overseeing trade on Monday urged the Biden administration to ward off China’s initial move to join the pact. In a joint statement, US Senator Tom Carper, Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness, and another ranking member John Cornyn suggested that China’s step in this “troubling” direction could affect the US’ economy and national security.

The call for the US to return to the CPTPP before China takes action has been around for a time. While some US politicians like Carper and Cornyn…

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