World’s largest free trade agreement signed in coup for China

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World's largest free trade agreement
A screen grab taken from Vietnam Host Broadcaster’s November 15, 2020 live video shows China’s Premier Li Keqiang (L) clapping as Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan (R) holds up the agreement during the signing ceremony for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact at the ASEAN summit that is being held online in Hanoi. (Photo by Handout / VIETNAM HOST BROADCASTER / AFP)

Fifteen Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday signed the world’s largest free trade agreement, seen as a huge coup for China in extending its influence.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) includes 10 Southeast Asian economies along with China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia, with members accounting for around 30 percent of global GDP.

First proposed in 2012, the deal was finally sealed at the end of a Southeast Asian summit as leaders push to get their pandemic-hit economies back on track.

“Under the current global circumstances, the fact the…



Source: Vanguard Newspaper