Interview: U.S.-led IPEF aims to contain China, not develop region, says commentator

(Xinhua) 11:23, May 26, 2022

SINGAPORE, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The fundamental objective of the so-called Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) by the United States is to besiege and contain China under the pretense of promoting regional economic development, said Ang Teck Sin, a political commentator in Singapore.

The IPEF, to some extent, is a substitute for the U.S.-framed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in terms of containing China's development and growth, Ang told Xinhua on Monday.

The TPP was signed in early 2016 as a massive trade agreement led by the United States. However, former President Donald Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from it shortly after taking office. The remaining TPP members have forged ahead with a new version of the pact, known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The U.S. move to initiate the TPP aimed to cut the economic links between China and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, which is also the primary purpose of the Joe Biden administration in launching the IPEF, said Ang.

Ang said the Biden administration has no intention of joining the CPTPP but has been attempting to continue to fulfill the TPP's goal of containing China with the new IPEF.

To enable the IPEF to corner China, the United States needs more member states to join the framework, said Ang, pointing to U.S. attempts to draw the Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries over to its side.

The United States still leads the world with its powerful military technology and economic strength. But that isn't enough to persuade smaller countries to join U.S.-led blocs if it means harming their own interests.

The American oligarchy has been formed. The National Rifle Association has hijacked its domestic policy while the arms industry holds outsized influence in international policy, said Ang, adding that this is a problem that both parties in the United States face.

Ang added that the situation would not change until a third party emerges to eliminate these overly influential interest groups.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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