India criticises Chinese trade policies, casting doubt over RCEP free trade deal



Philip Heijmans | Bloomberg

External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Monday criticized China for what he described as one-sided trade policies, casting doubt over the progress of negotiations for a pan-Asian free trade agreement.
Speaking during a panel discussion in Singapore, the minister said India remained skeptical over “unfair” market access and “Chinese protectionist policies” that have created a significant trade deficit between the two nations. India’s trade deficit with China was US$53.6 billion in the financial year that ended earlier in March this year.
“The big concerns of India are of course, one, its relationship with China because we have an enormous trade deficit with China,” Jaishankar said in response to a question regarding the ongoing negotiations for the world’s biggest trade deal, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Negotiators have expressed hope that RCEP – which includes all 10 of Southeast Asia’s Asean countries, as well as Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India and China – would be delivered by the end of the year.
To read the article on Bloomberg click here to see the full article on South China Morning Post click here