China strengthens with signature of massive Pan-Asian free trade agreement

This trade agreement becomes the largest in the world in terms of Gross Domestic Product, according to analysts, and will affect more than 2 billion inhabitants.

Fifteen countries in Asia and the Pacific signed an important trade agreement, promoted by China, on Sunday (November 15th) on the occasion of the closing of a virtual ASEAN summit which began on Thursday.

This Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is becoming the world’s largest trade agreement in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), analysts say, and will affect more than 2 billion people. It aims to create a gigantic free trade area between the 10 ASEAN states – Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei – and China, Japan, South Korea. South, Australia and New Zealand.

Intellectual property

«I am happy that after eight years of complex negotiations we can officially end the RCEP negotiations today.Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, whose country holds the rotating presidency of ASEAN, said.

This pact, the idea of ​​which dates back to 2012, is seen as the Chinese response to an American initiative that has now been abandoned. The agreement includes intellectual property, but excludes anything relating to the protection of workers and the environment.

RCEP members represent 30% of global GDP. The signing of this agreement comes in a context of severe economic crisis due to the Covid-19 epidemic for the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

This trade pact is also widely seen as the way for China to expand its influence in the region and determine the rules, after years of passivity on the part of the United States during Donald Trump’s presidency.

To see also – United States: five Chinese “agents” arrested for having participated in an operation targeting opponents of the Beijing regime

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