[Central News Agency] The United Kingdom formally proposed to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on February 1, 2021, and it has been two years since then.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office said today that the next round of negotiations is expected to be held later this month, and the British side looks forward to completing the accession process as soon as possible.

The UK originally assessed that there was a good chance of completing the negotiations as expected at the end of last year and formally joining the CPTPP.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office said today that the negotiation process was indeed "very close" to completion at the end of last year, but unfortunately the progress of negotiations with some economies was not as expected; the next round of negotiations is expected to be held at the end of this month, and the British side expects this to be the last hurdle.

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Greg Hands, the deputy minister in charge of trade policy of the British Department of International Trade, started a three-day visit to Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore today. Join CPTPP for support.

CPTPP currently has 11 member economies, including Japan, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, Chile and Malaysia.

The CPTPP adopts a consensus decision. The United Kingdom is the first non-founding economy to apply for membership. It is an indicator case for subsequent economies that intend to join the CPTPP.

In addition, regarding the military aid to Ukraine, the spokesperson of the Prime Minister’s Office responded to media questions at a press conference and said that the main battle tank (Main Battle Tank, MBT) “Challenger 2” (Challenger 2) provided by the United Kingdom will be operational in the next few weeks. Arriving in Ukraine, due to security considerations, the British side will not disclose the date of delivery in advance, but Ukrainian armed forces personnel have arrived in the UK at the end of January for operational training.

The United Kingdom announced in mid-January that it would provide Ukraine with the Challenger 2, the first country to provide Western tanks.

As for whether the UK will provide fighter jets to Ukraine, the spokesperson pointed out that the "Typhoon" (Typhoon) and the F-35 stealth fighter jets owned by the UK are highly sophisticated fighter jets, and the training time can last for several months, so they are not military aid at this stage. Uzbekistan's most pragmatic solution.

Nevertheless, the UK will continue to work closely with Ukraine to understand the actual needs of Ukraine and seek to provide effective support in combination with allies.

Although the training and delivery time of F-35, F-16 and other fighter jets may be delayed, a senior Ukrainian military source told Central News Agency that it is better to get it late than never.

(Editor: Chen Zhengjian) 1120202