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China

China actively seeks bilateral trade and investment deals outside of the World Trade Organisation. The government has put priority on forging agreements with neighbouring countries of Asia, but also many other countries on whom it relies for minerals, energy, food, infrastructure or geopolitical support.

Beijing has signed bilateral trade agreements with ASEAN (2002), Hong Kong (2002), Macau (2003), Thailand (2003), Niger (2005), Chile (2006), Pakistan (2006), New Zealand (2008), Peru (2008), Singapore (2008), Costa Rica (2010), Taiwan (2010), Switzerland (2013), Iceland (2014), Australia (2015), Korea (2015), Georgia (2017), Maldives (2017) and the Eurasian Economic Union (2018). China is also a party to 127 bilateral investment treaties.

China is currently in bilateral negotiations with the European Union (investment), the Gulf Cooperation Council, Israel, Mauritius, Moldova, New Zealand (to upgrade the current agreement), Norway, Pakistan (upgrade), Singapore (upgrade), the Southern African Customs Union and Sri Lanka, as well as with Japan and Korea for a possible a three-way deal. Further down the horizon, there is talk of eventual negotiations with Canada, Chile (upgrade), Colombia, Fiji, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Palestine, Panama, Peru (upgrade), Switzerland (upgrade) and Uruguay.

Regionally, China has proposed a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, an initiative that would encompass the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations, in direct rivalry with US-led projects like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But that intitiative is currently on hold.

China is currently part of the talks on a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). RCEP is a mega-regional trade agreement proposed by the Association of South East Asian Nations with its FTA partners : China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

If concluded, it would give Chinese corporations market access to India — in goods, services and investment — that it does not have through its own FTAs.

China also sees RCEP as a key element of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an infrastructure project meant to link Asia with Europe, passing through Africa, and with an extension to Latin America.

China is also using the BRI to push more countries to sign free trade agreements to consolidate the trade and investment leverage that the project opens up.

last update: June 2018


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China will cooperate with Belarus to actively use the advantages of the Belt and Road concept, Deputy Head of the Foreign Affairs Office of Hubei Province Lianghua Zhang said as he spoke at the international seminar Belt and Road. Getting to Know Hubei in Wuhan, China, BelTA has learned.
Chinese, Chilean FMs hold talks to deepen bilateral cooperation
China expects Chile to continue to play an active and exemplary role in jointly building the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative with Latin America, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday.
China, Norway make ’positive progress’ in free trade negotiations
Both sides conducted negotiations on issues such as trade in goods, trade in services, investment, rules of origin, customs procedures and trade facilitation, intellectual property rights, competition policies and government procurement.
Look to India for returns, not China’s Belt-and-Road, Funds say
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China to sign free trade agreement with Eurasian Economic Union on May 17
Russia and China have already been in talks to link the EAEU with China’s Belt & Road Initiative in plans outlined by presidents Putin and Xi.
China, Norway start new round of free trade negotiations
This is the third round of talks after the recovering of China-Norway free trade agreement negotiations in April 2017.
China’s Hong Kong seeks closer ties with Indonesia, ASEAN under FTA, Belt and Road Initiative
An official delegation from China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is seeking closer ties in economic and other areas with Indonesia as well as ASEAN under the Hong Kong-ASEAN free trade agreement (FTA) and the Belt and Road Initiative.
China and South Korea seek free trade deal with Mercosur
China and South Korea are seeking to establish free trade agreements with Mercosur in a strategic response to Washington’s increasingly protectionist stance.
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Papua New Guinea is believed to be on course to sign up to a Free Trade Agreement with China to promote bilateral cooperation and deepen cooperation in the ’One Belt, One Road’ initiative.
Japan and China pledge to accelerate free trade talks
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