Mainland Chinese Commerce Official Backs Hong Kong Joining RCEP Trade Bloc, with City Leader Carrie Lam Hoping to Start Talks ‘at earliest opportunity’



Natalie Wong | South China Morning Post


China’s vice-minister of commerce has thrown his support behind Hong Kong joining the world‘s biggest free-trade deal to expand cooperation with other Asian countries amid the economic turmoil of Covid-19, with the city’s leader hoping to begin accession talks “at the earliest opportunity”.

Hong Kong’s accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership(RCEP) – a Beijing-led trade pact between 15 countries, seen as a counterweight to US influence in the region – was highlighted by high-ranking Chinese officials at the annual Belt and Road Summit, which was held virtually on Monday.

Addressing the audience of business leaders, Chinese vice-minister of commerce, Wang Bingnan, said he endorsed Hong Kong’s “very important role” in advancing the country’s development, and called for its accession to the deal.

To read the full article, click here.