China: the tricky chessboard of the free trade agreements

China Daily Mail

RCEP and TPP Countries RCEP and TPP Countries

US and China are facing each other with similar but opposite strategies in the whole Asia-Pacific area: The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), of which China isn’t a part, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) led by China and the ten nations of ASEAN that will create a regional free market of more than 3 billion people and a share of the global GDP close to 27%.

In the regional challenge China is betting its best chips on the free trade agreements (FTAs) in a regional hype that counts more than 200 agreements registered by the WTO, in the effort to shorten the time needed and establish its negotiation leadership compared to the other players.

RCEP negotiation rounds have already covered a wide range of products and services, including the definition of intellectual property standards, competition and antitrust regulations, and also investment rules, with a…

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