China has just achieved an important diplomatic victory, and has done so through a megaacuerdo business in the most dynamic region of the planet. Fifteen of the 16 countries meeting in Bangkok agreed on Monday to launch the Partnership Comprehensive Economic Regional (RCEP), a project driven by Beijing in 2012, in response to the Agreement trans-Pacific Economic partnership (TPP), which launched in the united States of Barack Obama to isolate the asian giant in the continent.

The decision of India to abstain from signing the agreement subtracts remarkable scope of the RCEP and leaves the subcontinent outside of the two large regional agreements. A policy that builds on the traditional strength of the country’s disarmament, tariff, to protect their agriculture, and to which now are added issues of domestic policy that would have made it impossible Narendra Modi seal any pact with China.

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critics of the RCEP impact where the agreement is devoid of true ambition, which focuses too much on the reduction of tariff and ignore the other type of trade barriers that are addressed in the TPP, such as environmental protection, intellectual property, or the type-approval regulations. In fact, China maintains bilateral agreements with most of the countries signatories to the RCEP, and that means that, in practice, the direct impact it will have on your economy will be small.

But it is no less true that the RCEP includes two of the world’s largest economies —China and Japan— alongside some of the world’s poorest, such as Laos, which makes it difficult to envisage a commercial agreement of new generation, more sophisticated, and yes to support a deal more traditional to cheapen exports.

Of what is not in doubt is the important symbolism that the ratification of this covenant on the part of national Parliaments, scheduled for 2020, will assume as a nod to China’s foreign policy. In the first place, because Beijing has been able to conclude the negotiation with their partners, while the current Administration of the united States resigned to participate in the TPP, which went forward without its promoter (TPP-11).

Also, as defends Julian Evans-Pritchard, of Capital Economics, the agreement allows China to establish itself as, in contrast with the united States, as a champion of globalization, free trade, and multilateralism without committing to adopt any structural reform of the draft or to introduce changes in its industrial policy, which benefits their own companies against international competitors.

Although the influence of the united States in the Asia-Pacific region will continue to be important in terms of defence and security, there is no doubt that Washington will have to do something more than to lash out against China, if you want to gain followers in the region in its confrontation of commercial and technological rival.

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