China should move toward more free trade agreements

Updated: 2013-04-18 09:44

By Bao Chang (China Daily)

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Alliances with major economies will prevent marginalization from TPP

China should accelerate its moves toward establishing bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements with other major economies, in order to ensure the Trans-Pacific Partnership does not marginalize China in global trade, said a former senior government official.

"China should be vigilant that some FTAs are now set to exclude it from making trade regulations and weaken China's power of discourse in international trade," Wei Jianguo, vice-chairman and secretary-general of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told China Daily.

The US-led TPP includes more negotiations and new regulations on government purchasing and international labor force standard to which China was not referred. It will weaken China's influence and participation in global trade, said Wei, a former vice-minister of commerce.

The 16th round of TPP discussions ended in Singapore last month, with officials suggesting solid progress had been made.

The TPP - which covers 11 nations including the United States, Australia, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore - has invited Japan to join, a move regarded by some as a measure by the US to counter China's rising economic influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

"China should also accelerate its negotiating process on setting up FTAs with other countries while more and more bilateral and regional FTAs emerge," said Wei.

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