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Durham University

Durham Law School

Staff profile

Publication details for Professor Ming Du

Du, M (2015). Explaining China's Tripartite Strategy toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Journal of International Economic Law 18(2): 407-432.

Author(s) from Durham


The emergence of mega-regional trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) threatens to fragment global trade governance in fundamental ways. An important question, yet so far under-explored, is how the rising powers currently being excluded from the mega-regionals, such as China, view this new development in global economic governance. This article intends to fill this gap in the literature from a Chinese perspective. Specifically, this article addresses the following questions: why has China changed its initial suspicious attitude to a more neutral stance toward the TPP recently? What are the short-term and long-term effects of the TPP on China’s economic growth and geopolitical influence? How will China deal with a myriad of challenges posed by the TPP going forward, be it in or outside the TPP? After the analysis of a range of relevant political, economic, and legal factors, I submit that the Chinese government has adopted what I call a ‘tripartite strategy’ toward the TPP. What remains to be seen is whether this tripartite strategy provides the best roadmap for China’s further integration into the global economy.