China pushing for ‘early implementation’ of RCEP trade deal in January



Reuters | South China Morning Post

  • A total of 15 Asia-Pacific economies and 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November
  • China ratified RCEP at the start of March, and the deal must be confirmed by at least six Asean countries and three non-Asean countries before it can come into effect

China is encouraging the early implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and members of the Asia-Pacific trade pact aim for it to take effect from January 1, Wang Shouwen, China’s vice-commerce minister, said on Thursday.

China began gathering support for the pact in 2012, in what was seen as a bid to counter growing US influence in the Asia-Pacific region. Backing for RCEP gained momentum in 2017, after then US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the rival Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact.
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