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(July 21, 2020) RCEP the key to East Asia's recovery

The Asean-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will almost certainly be signed at the 37th Asean Summit in November. Fears of further delays -- due to ripple effects from the intensified US-China rivalry, which has reached unprecedented levels -- as well as concerns about India's absence have now been overcome. Once signed, the RCEP will be the world's biggest free-trade arrangement which will serve as an engine for economic recovery in the post-Covid-19 world.

Over the past weeks, the Trump administration has ramped up its attacks against China, which have now moved from being exclusively focused on the coronavirus and its origins, to the South China Sea dispute, causing US-China ties to deteriorate further. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that most of China's claims in the South China Sea are unlawful. This was one of the strongest statements from Washington so far, which China vehemently condemned as US "interference".

www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1954851/rcep-the-key-to-east-asias-recovery


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