China remains tight-lipped on whether it wants to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal in the wake of Donald Trump scuttling America's participation, according to reports from Australia.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has flagged the potential for China join the trade pact but Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying is coy on the prospect.

"We stand for open, transparent and win-win regional free trade arrangements," she told reporters in Beijing.

In particular, China was focused on advancing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade deal which includes Australia, India, Japan and southeast Asian countries.

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It was also keen to make progress on a Asia Pacific free trade area.

Former US President Barack Obama initially framed the TPP as a way to write trade rules, excluding China.

Labor's trade spokesman Jason Clare said in theory China could join the TPP.

"I think it's unlikely," he told Sky News, citing clauses about anti-corruption, environmental and labour standards which would make it difficult for China to sign up to in the short term.

Meanwhile, a senior Australian federal minister has criticised the United States for ditching the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne says the Pacific trade pact is still a "live option" for Australia and US President Donald Trump was wrong to withdraw.

"I think it's the wrong move for the United States because open markets are exactly what the world needs in terms of growing jobs and investment and growth in our economy," Mr Pyne told Adelaide radio 5AA on Wednesday.

The TPP covers Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.