ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi rejected on Thursday mischaracterizations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a landmark trade deal encompassing most of the Asia-Pacific, arguing that it has always been an ASEAN-led effort and not a China-backed initiative.
At the Third RCEP Summit earlier this week, held in Bangkok as part of a series of meetings under the banner of the ASEAN Summit, the leaders of 15 countries announced that they had concluded text-based negotiations of the trade pact, but left the door open for India to resolve domestic issues that had led it to pull out of the deal.
“This [agreement] was mooted by ASEAN. ASEAN put this forward and [it was] agreed by everyone, and following that we started negotiations in 2013 in Brunei,” Lim told journalists in a briefing in Jakarta on Thursday. “It was very m...
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