Chinese FM calls for expediting RCEP talks

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-08 10:24

CANBERRA - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday called for expediting the talks of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) for the construction of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

China is open to any regional trade arrangement conducive to regional economic integration and global free trade system, Wang told a press conference after the fourth round of China-Australia diplomatic and strategic dialogue.

As for various regional or sub-regional cooperation mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific, some are thriving while others are faltering, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), he said.

Wang stressed that practice on the ground has showed that any regional cooperation should take into consideration the needs for economic development rather than political factors.

"Either the RCEP or TPP or other regional arrangements is a possible path to the broader FTAAP," Wang said.

The top Chinese diplomat urged relevant parties, including Australia, to make joint efforts to conclude the RCEP negotiations at an early date so as to contribute to achieving the common goal of building the FTAAP.

Launched in November 2012, the RCEP talks involve 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its six major trading partners - China, Japan, South Korea, India, New Zealand and Australia - with an aim of facilitating expansion of regional trade and investment.

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