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Japan Reluctant To Join RCEP

Japan is not considering signing a Chinese-backed regional trade pact without India, the top Japanese negotiator revealed ahead of a series of diplomatic exchanges in the coming weeks that include a visit to Delhi by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

India announced earlier that it was withdrawing from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, citing the deal’s potential impact on the livelihoods of its most vulnerable citizens. China said that the 15 remaining countries decided to move forward first and India was welcome to join RCEP whenever it’s ready.

Other countries taking part in RCEP include Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. China has sought to accelerate the RCEP deal as it faces slowing growth from a trade war with the U.S. An agreement would further integrate Asia’s economies with China just as President Donald Trump’s administration urges nations in the region to shun Chinese infrastructure loans and 5G telecommunications technology.

source: The Economic Times