What Happened: Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has voiced reservations against joining the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) over Chinese trade practices and market access, The Economic Times reported Sept. 9.
Why It Matters: Jaishankar's comments suggest enduring concerns by the Indian government over joining RCEP due to its trade deficit with China despite acknowledging the economic benefits of the partnership. If India remains hesitant to join RCEP, it could delay the deal's implementation beyond its original deadline at the end of 2019.
Background: RCEP includes the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its six free trade partners, India, China, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and Japan.
- Wary of China, Modi Courts India's Neighbors (Sept. 4, 2019)
- Asian Free Trade Proposal Is Broad in Scope, Narrow in Focus (March 25, 2019)
- Trade Profile: ASEAN Pulls the Threads Together (Nov. 20, 2017)