[The Epoch Times, January 10, 2022](The Epoch Times reporter Yi Ru interviewed and reported) After more than a year, the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) signed by 15 countries came into effect on January 1 this year. As the invited country, China (the Communist Party) is actively leading the RCEP, and the conspiracy behind it has attracted the attention of the outside world.
RCEP was initiated by the 10 ASEAN countries and then invited China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, which have free trade agreements with them, to formally sign the agreement on November 15, 2020 during the East Asia Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting.
Because the RCEP agreement spans 15 countries and covers 29.7% of the global population, the economic scale of nearly US$26 trillion will account for 28.9% of the global economy. It is known as the world‘s largest regional free trade agreement.
Since China is the largest economy among RCEP participating countries and the most active country in promoting RCEP, it is generally believed that the CCP is the dominant player behind RCEP.
Tang Ao, a political and economic analyst based in the United States, told The Epoch Times that although RCEP was initiated by ASEAN, the CCP did play a leading role afterwards. Even Japan, South Korea, Australia and other traditional allies of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region were also used by the CCP in the Chinese market. To lure into the game as a bait.
Tang Ao said that RCEP seems to be a free trade agreement, but the CCP’s purpose is not to promote trade freedom. The outside world should pay attention to the CCP’s plans.
He analyzed that the CCP is actively leading the RCEP, and what it is trying to do is to strengthen its economic control over Southeast Asian countries. The CCP’s existing One Belt One Road has become notorious and wary of other countries. However, the CCP has given too much money to the One Belt One Road, and the harvest is actually not ideal.
Therefore, “RCEP is another economic means for the CCP to strengthen its control over Southeast Asia’s neighbors. After all, while the so-called free trade brings short-term benefits to the underdeveloped ASEAN countries, it is more likely to form a long-term economic dependence on the CCP and be Controlled by it.”
Another attempt by the CCP to actively dominate the RCEP is to divide the free world and dominate international rules. “The CCP regards RCEP as a backstop to resist U.S. trade sanctions and divides its allies such as Japan, Australia, South Korea and other U.S. economically. It is attracted by the Chinese market. Japan, Australia, and South Korea that have joined the RCEP have even accepted the CCP’s leading trade rules and order that avoids issues such as state-owned enterprises, labor, and environmental standards. This in itself is part of the CCP’s export of international rules that it dominates.”
Tang Ao said that India did not join RCEP in the end.
RCEP was originally scheduled to involve 16 countries, but in November 2019, India withdrew from RCEP at the final stage of negotiations and announced in July 2020 that it would not join any trade agreement including China.
Reuters reported in November 2019 that since RCEP participating countries must gradually eliminate tariffs, India is worried that joining the China-led RCEP will face a massive invasion of cheap Chinese products, which will hit domestic manufacturing and agriculture and weaken its own economy. The Indian media “India Today” quoted an unnamed Indian government person who pointed out that the CCP actively promoted the signing of RCEP at the RCEP summit with the purpose of countering the US-China trade war.
Shen Rongqin, a professor at York University in Canada, told The Epoch Times that an important factor that the CCP was invited to join the RCEP and showed great enthusiasm was that at that time, the CCP saw that Obama was actively joining the TPP (Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership) to contain the CCP’s trend.
“Joining RCEP is a great opportunity for China (the Communist Party). RCEP is not only an economic and trade organization for China (the Communist Party), it can help it enter and exit free trade, and it will also help it reorganize the value of the countries in the region. Chain. Strategically, it is against the US Obama administration’s blockade of it through the TPP. Therefore, RCEP has economic, trade and strategic objectives for the CCP at the same time.”
After President Trump took office, the United States withdrew from TPP in 2017 and was reorganized as CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) led by Japan.
Shen Rongqin said that the bigger problem now is that after Trump withdrew from the TPP, the Biden administration has no intention to return to the CPTPP due to various factors such as focusing on domestic affairs, epidemic prevention and economic revitalization. It may be necessary to establish an “Indo-Pacific Economic Structure” to counter the CCP, but there is limited information about this structure, and it is not clear whether it will be successfully organized in the future.”
Shen Rongqin said that the lack of trade policies in the future may be a hard injury for the United States to fight against RCEP. “Biden really doesn’t put his heart on joining the CPTPP. In the long run, the United States has a place in the world market. The long-term competitive advantage of the United States is impacted, which is not good for the United States.”
On the eve of RCEP taking effect, last November, 13 Republican senators led by Mike Crapo, the Republican leader of the Senate Finance Committee of the US Congress, sent a letter to Biden, urging him to formulate new trade rules for participation in the Asia-Pacific region. The absence is to “encourage potential partners to move forward without us and ensure that China will control the global economy.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that at the time when the United States was struggling to rejoin the Asia-Pacific Economic and Trade Group, in addition to RCEP, the CCP has now formally applied to join the CPTPP and the Digital Economic Partnership Agreement (DEPA).
Shen Rongqin said that if the CCP joins a high-standard organization like CPTPP, the CCP will have a very large say in the establishment of international economic and trade order and rules.
“If China (the Communist Party) joins in, it will not only increase its economic and trade strength, but also affect the formulation of world economic and trade rules, and it will be able to establish its own global value chain more smoothly, and it will be more beneficial. Decoupling from the United States. So, from this perspective, this is a hidden worry for the United States in the future.”
RCEP’s goal is to reduce import and export tariffs on 90% of goods between member states to zero within 20 years. The Brookings Institution estimates that by 2030, RCEP can increase world income by US$209 billion and world trade by US$500 billion each year.
The Atlantic Council of the United States warned in its analysis of RCEP that the absence of the United States “enables China (the Communist Party) to consolidate its role as a driving force for economic growth in the region.”
“Unless the United States, today the Biden administration changes its mind and actively returns to the CPTPP, the United States has more say in reshaping the world‘s economic and trade order, and has more ability to formulate rules.” Shen Rongqin said.
Editor in charge: Gao Jing#