India Opts Out of the Chinese-Backed RCEP Deal -- For Now

Nov 4, 2019 | 21:53 GMT


After seven years of talks, the push to finalize the world's largest free trade zone has been delayed by at least several months. On Nov. 4, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Bangkok, alluding to long-standing concerns over China's widening trade surplus with India and demands for enhanced market access for Indian exporters. New Delhi's hardball strategy, however, will come at the risk of being temporarily shut out of a deal, as China sees the RCEP as a valuable trade bloc to counter U.S. trade salvos....

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