Indo Pacific Trade Agreement

Some media have called the RCEP a Chinese-led effort, but analysts say it`s inaccurate. “For a long time, it wasn`t even dominated by China, although China is the largest economy in the agreement,” says Michael Green, senior vice president for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. As a pilot, he cited Japan and ASEAN members, including Singapore. “It is essential that partners like China, when they enter into new agreements like this, not only provide the details of such agreements, but act faithfully to their minds,” Birmingham told The Age newspaper. However, it sets rules for trade that facilitate investment and other business in the area, said Jeffrey Wilson, research director at the Perth USAsia Center. Read also: The Real Winners of the U.S.-China Trade Dispute The agreement excludes the United States, which withdrew from an Asia-Pacific trade pact in 2017. China, meanwhile, applauded rcep as a victory. “The signing of the RCEP is not only a monumental achievement of East Asian regional cooperation, but even more important, a victory for multilateralism and free trade,” Premier Li Keqiang said, according to Chinese media. The conclusion of the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) diverts its 15 Pacific countries – Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and all 10 ASEAN members – from the lure of trade war protectionism and the COVID 19 pandemic. “The economic benefits of the agreement may be marginal for Southeast Asia, but there are some interesting trade and customs dynamics for Southeast Asia,” said Nick Marro of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The challenges of Intrapaviencien trade will remain, especially how to re-engage with India, a country of 1.3 billion people with high economic potential, which is still outside the economic architecture of the region. Under the RCEP, the parts of all Member States would be treated in the same way, which could encourage companies in RCEP countries to look for suppliers in the commercial region.

China`s size makes it an important trading partner. However, because of their growing capacity to impose themselves on the international stage, countries cannot look at economic relations in isolation. Border conflicts, particularly in the South China Sea and with India, are increasing tensions. Chinese diplomats of “wolf warriors” often border on and often threaten countries with what is known as “forced diplomacy.” Australia is currently at the centre of concerns: China has recently identified 14 complaints about Australia`s behaviour, which it says is responsible for the poor state of bilateral relations. South Korea and others have already been targets. China is becoming a strengthened maritime power, with the potential to strengthen control of the sea routes needed for trade. Across the region, China`s investment and military power are causing public concern, although many positive aspects are in China`s economic strength. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang celebrated the signing of the agreement in a speech at the summit, saying: “The signing of the RCEP is not only a milestone in East Asian regional cooperation, but also a victory for multilateralism and free trade.” The China-backed agreement is seen as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a Washington trade initiative that no longer exists.


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