China is interested in the idea of free trade in the Asia Pacific, though it would like to consider regional variations and may well be uneasy about joining talks on the TPP that are driven by the United States that may require further market opening measures.
"We have an open attitude about initiatives beneficial to Asia-Pacific economic integration, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement," said China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu.
"Whether we will join the TPP, we are closely following the development regarding the agreement, and are willing to stay in contact with other member countries."
Meanwhile, China will keep working on regional trade initiatives, said Li Wentao, professor at Nankai University's APEC Study Center in Tianjin, China, though progress is halting. Talks with Japan and South Korea are proving more feasible but others such as those with Australia face stumbling blocks, he said.