Taiwan asks to join trade group, says China might interfere

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan officials say the island has applied to join an 11-nation Pacific trade group. That sets up a potential clash with rival Beijing. The Chinese government, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, gave no details of how it might respond but said the island has no right to join international bodies. A Taiwan Cabinet minister says the island’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership might be disrupted if China, which applied last week, is admitted first. The CPTPP  took effect in 2018. It includes agreements on market access, labor and government procurement. The U.S. once led the effort but President Donald Trump pulled out of the arrangement in 2017.