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China pledges to work for early conclusion of RCEP

Updated: Jan 30,2018 8:39 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China is willing to enhance communication and coordination with parties including Singapore to conclude RCEP negotiations as soon as possible to contribute to regional economic integration.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks on Jan 30 when asked to comment on Singaporean Minister in Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing’s recent stance that the top priority for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China this year is to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

To conclude the RCEP at an early date will help boost confidence in regional and global economic development and promote the process for achieving the Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area (FTA), Hua said.

She said the RCEP is the most significant treaty on free trade in the Asian-Pacific region, noting that after the agreement is reached, the free trade area will be the most populous, diverse, and energetic one in the world.

The RCEP is an FTA scheme made up of the 10 ASEAN member states and their six FTA partners — China, Australia, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand.

Hua said China has always attached great importance to RCEP negotiations, and firmly supports ASEAN’s core and leading role in the talks.