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Jakarta Post

RCEP and Indo-Pacific initiatives play second fiddle

  • Linda Yanti Sulistiawati and David K. Linnan


Yogyakarta   /   Mon, July 1, 2019   /  01:59 pm
RCEP and Indo-Pacific initiatives play second fiddle ASEAN must understand that its future, economically and militarily, will also depend on stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (Shutterstock/File)

At the ASEAN Summit on June 20 to 23, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo tried to draw the attention of his fellow regional grouping member countries to two key matters: completion of negotiations over the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and acceleration of negotiations on the “Indo-Pacific” as an Indonesian cooperation initiative to be adopted by the group (The Jakarta Post, June 20). Why are they important for Indonesia and, especially, ASEAN? Behind all of this lies a tangled web of politics and economics that existed even before the trade dispute between China and the United States. The Doha Development Round of the World Trade Organization as the keystone for a multilateral trading system has remained unfinished after more than 15 years. Meanwhile, the so-called trade war has been going on for two years. The RCEP as a superregiona...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.