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RCEP members look to catch up following TPP agreement

The RCEP consists of China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations

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Chief negotiators from the 16 countries in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will meet Friday in Indonesia with an eye toward accelerating progress on the proposed trade pact in response to last month’s deal on the 11-member Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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The talks in Yogyakarta on the island of Java, scheduled to run until Feb. 9, will cover such issues as the list of items on which to reduce or eliminate tariffs, protections for foreign companies’ investments and free movement of labor.

The RCEP consists of China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It would create a free trade area covering roughly half the world’s population and some 30% of its gross domestic product and total trade.

Negotiations on the deal began in 2013, but disagreements on how far it should go have yet to be settled.

Member countries that also participate in the TPP, such as Japan and Australia, favor more ambitious steps to lower tariffs and other trade barriers, while China and other nations remain wary of greater liberalization.

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China

Will Myanmar’s coup help China influence ASEAN?

The Myanmar crisis is becoming increasingly tragic, with the military’s use of lethal force now killing over 60 protestors.

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On 16 January 2021, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi concluded a visit to four ASEAN countries. One destination was Myanmar, the upcoming country coordinator of the ASEAN–China dialogue and now centre of international attention after the country’s military seized power.

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China

Rapid growth in China post-COVID makes it ripe for investment

Being “first in and first out” of COVID-19, China is the only country among the G20 that is thought by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to have increased GDP in 2020.

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China’s economy rebounded sharply.

In January 2020 as the world began to learn of COVID-19, many market observers predicted a challenging year for Asia. While there continue to be headwinds from the health and economic crisis, Asia, and China in particular, has demonstrated comparatively advantageous resilience.

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China

Mainland China is in no position to take Taiwan by force

Unlike his predecessors, Chinese President Xi Jinping has demonstrated greater intensity in the desire for reunification.

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The situation across the Taiwan Strait has seemed to be on the brink of crisis since 2018. Beijing has sent numerous sorties of military aircraft to conduct exercises near Taiwan and frequently crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

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