China should move toward more free trade agreements

Updated: 2013-04-18 09:44

By Bao Chang (China Daily)

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China and Iceland signed an FTA on Monday in Beijing, marking a milestone in bilateral trade ties and an icebreaking agreement between China and a European country.

China has concluded FTAs with 10 other economies, including Peru, Costa Rica, Chile and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

FTA negotiations were also held with countries such as Australia, Switzerland, Japan and South Korea. The first round of discussions about a triple FTA among China, Japan and South Korea ended in March.

"Compared with the TPP, the China-Japan-South Korea FTA is more feasible and can be achieved earlier because it's easier for the three countries to communicate with each other and reach a consensus on crucial issues including tariffs for sensitive industries," said a Japanese official in Beijing, who declined to be named.

Japan announced its entry into TPP talks in March. Meanwhile, the country is also accelerating negotiations to establish an FTA with ASEAN.

South Korea is also pushing forward a bilateral FTA with China and signed one with the US last year.

The US has FTAs with 20 countries and is taking further step to establish regional FTAs such as the TPP. This implies that the US intends to dominate global trade and regain its influence, said Wei.

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